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Authors: Benitez, Ryan C.
Advisors: Dobbie, Will
Department: Woodrow Wilson School
Class Year: 2015
Abstract: Research suggests that top U.S. colleges have significant demand for lowincome domestic students. The existence and persistence of domestic “facilitating” organizations like QuestBridge and Posse Foundation are evidence of this demand because these organizations are primarily funded by colleges. Further, research also suggests that top U.S. colleges demand high-income international students as well. Such students help colleges financially because they pay full sticker price (and sometimes more). This revenue is often used by colleges to subsidize financial aid for low-income domestic students. During and after the recession of 2008, state funding of higher education decreased significantly, leaving public institutions looking other places for money. Many such colleges are relying on high-income international students more and more to make up for the lost revenue from the state. It is unclear though whether top colleges demand low-income international students. Using the top 100 colleges on the Forbes 2014 ranking, I set out to find out whether top colleges demand low-income international students, and if so, if there is demand for an international facilitating organization. To answer these questions, I conduct a survey of admissions officers and college administrators. I pick 6-7 employees from each of the top 100 colleges and send them a survey designed to explore their college’s demand for lowincome international students and for an international facilitating organization. Four select administrators / admissions officers are interviewed instead of surveyed. 51 colleges complete the survey. I find that there is widespread demand for low-income international students, especially from women’s colleges, private colleges, highly-ranked colleges, and small colleges. However, colleges indicate they are very limited in how many low-income international students they can admit due to financial limitations when it comes to financial aid. There is very little demand from any cross-section of colleges for the international facilitating organization. I conclude by suggesting that colleges might allocate more money to low-income international students if socioeconomic and geographic diversity were included as a factor in the annual college ranking lists (like U.S. News & World Report and Forbes) because it would force colleges to compete against peer institutions for prestige.
Extent: 66 pages
Type of Material: Princeton University Senior Theses
Language: en_US
Appears in Collections:Woodrow Wilson School, 1929-2016

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