Ivy Aid May Hit 2nd-Tier Schools

Big scholarships could siphon top students who couldn't afford Harvard
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 5, 2008 12:35 PM CST
Harvard University was the first to come to the aid of the middle class, introducing sweeping changes to its financial aid policy and eliminating loans.   (Shutterstock.com)
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(Newser) – It’s easy to applaud the generosity the Ivy League is lavishing on the middle class, but it could have unintended consequences, Newsweek notes. Second-tier schools and elite public universities rely on the highly talented middle-class kids Harvard and company are targeting. “Schools compete hard for those students,” said Colgate’s VP of finances. But Colgate’s $700 million can’t compete with Harvard’s $34 billion war chest.

To protect their elite status, schools like Colgate will probably “sweeten the package” for top middle-class kids, one economist predicts, “taking money away from the students who really need it: low-income students.” But optimists say big universities have taken the cream of the crop for years. “The number of kids we’re talking about is very small,” said one admissions dean.