ASPIRE Bill in Senate an “Access” Wake-up Call for Colleges

Sens. Chris Coons (D-Del.) and Johnny Isakson (R-Ga.) have introduced a bill in Congress that would “encourage” colleges to provide greater access for underserved (poor, first generation-college, minority) students. It should serve as a warning, especially to the wealthiest colleges, that they need to act systemically, not individually, to provide all qualified students access to post-secondary education.

In the past I’ve advocated that wealthy colleges and universities work together to help less well-endowed institutions fund poor students. The Coons-Isakson bill should prod them to take the high road before being made to do so. It would be a win-win for all parties involved.

I’ve made the case in my blog, which you can access HERE.



About Will Dix

I am currently writing a book about college admission. I'm interested in the intersection of the college process and American culture. I attended Amherst College in the 1970s, taught high school English and theater at The Hill School in the '80s, returned to Amherst in the '90s as an admission dean, and began the '00s as a college counselor at the University of Chicago Laboratory School. I then joined Chicago Scholars as Program Director. Currently, I blog about college admission for I also help community organizations serving low income students understand the college admission process so more students can consider gaining access to higher education. I have a few private college counseling clients that I take by referral only. The views expressed in this blog are mine alone.
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2 Responses to ASPIRE Bill in Senate an “Access” Wake-up Call for Colleges

  1. Allison says:

    Appreciate you shining the light on endowments. The majority of high school seniors enroll at Community Colleges which have little to no endowment and minuscule funding opportunity vis a vis their gargantuan need. Looking at the NACUBO list, once you get past the top 200 institutions, endowments shrink precipitously. How can the hundreds of schools with no endowment or less than a $100 Million endowment enroll more of the underserved AND provide the resources necessary to shepherd them through four years of higher ed? It’s a distressing situation and also entirely unsustainable… (Insert the Munch Scream emoji here…)


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