Massachusetts Higher Ed: Excellence Without Equity
September 24, 2015
By Liam Kerr, DFER-Massachusetts State Director
Democrats for Education Reform sent a “secret shopper” to 11 elite Massachusetts colleges and universities to get a glimpse at how good a job these schools are doing in supporting the relatively small number of working class and low-income students enrolled.
The results either call into question the veracity of the colleges’ responses to prospective students and families who ask about their prospects for success or suggest some racially disparate phenomenon at work. Either way, these colleges have work to do.
Under the Higher Education Act, colleges and universities are required to disclose graduation rates of working class and low-income students (i.e. Pell Grant recipients) to anyone who asks. They do not have to report the data to the U.S. Department of Education or any other central body. So we sent a trained, secret shopper to ask individual colleges for their data. To check its quality, we matched the schools’ disclosures to our shopper against other graduation rate data the colleges are required to report to the U.S. Department of Education. The results surprised us.
Read more at Education Reform Now.