Sue Dynarski was quoted in a MarketWatch story addressing the struggles of low-income and first-generation students at Ivy League schools. While Columbia University served as the backdrop for “The Ivy League’s hidden poor,” published today, the problem appears to be pervasive in higher education.
Cited in the story is a Pell Institute report that found that just 21 percent of students from the bottom income quartile who entered college received a bachelor’s degree by the time they were 24, compared to 99 percent of students in the top income quartile.
While the needs of first-generation and low-income students – populations that often overlap – have been a concern among higher education experts for years, they have only recently garnered national attention. Dynarski attributes much of the recent interest to growing concern about inequality in education outcomes, according to the story.
“These kids finally make [it] into what we think of as ‘hey this is it,’” Dynarski is quoted as saying in the story. “It’s not easy. The stakes are very high and the chances are very low for low-income families.”
Dynarski, who was a first-generation college student herself, has researched college outcomes of low-income students.
Susan Dynarski is a professor of public policy at the Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy, and a professor of education at the University of Michigan's School of Education. She is co-founder and co-director of the Ford School’s Education Policy Initiative, which engages in applied, policy-relevant research designed to improve overall educational achievement and outcomes. She is also a faculty research associate at the National Bureau of Economic Research and the Center for Analysis of Postsecondary Education and Employment, as well as a nonresident senior fellow in the Economic Studies Program at the Brookings Institution.