The Shame Lists

The Department of Education has released it’s annual shame list of the most expensive colleges and universities. The shame lists are a sham. Here is our take on this misleading exercise that really does not provide families with any useful information in determining which schools provide value for money:

Shame on the Shame List

The shame list calculates “net price” only for students receiving aid. This does two things. First it rewards schools that concentrate aid on a small number of students instead of spreading it around. Secondly, it gives schools a strong incentive to change their recruiting patterns to avoid students who qualify for small amounts of need-based aid, i.e. the middle class. What social purpose is served by increasing the incentives of schools to recruit full pay students in a very need-aware manner?