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Case Study

February 15, 2017

Funding Socioeconomic Diversity at High Performing Colleges and Universities

Authors: Jessie Brown, Martin Kurzweil

Publishers: American Talent Initiative, Bloomberg Philanthropies

Funders: Aspen College Excellence Program, Bloomberg Philanthropies, ITHAKA S+R

With finite budgets and multiple priorities, institutions limit the funds they allocate to need-based aid and other programs that support low- and moderate-income students. Yet even with those constraints, some top-performing colleges and universities have enhanced their commitment to serving low- and moderate-income students, and have found the financial means to do so. This paper profiles five such institutions: Franklin & Marshall College, University of California, Berkeley, University of Richmond, University of Texas at Austin, and Vassar College. The paper reviews increases in aid, support, and opportunity at these schools, and highlights strategies that each has pursued to reallocate funds in ways that are financially sustainable, maximally effective, and broadly supported by institutional stakeholders.