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Aiding Students, Buying Students: Financial Aid in America

Overview

From the first scholarship donated to Harvard in 1643 to today's world of "enrollment management" and federal grants and loans, the author gives a lively social and economic history of the conflicting purposes of student aid and makes proposals for the future. His research for this book is based on archives and interviews at 131 public and private institutions across the United States.

In the words of Joe Paul Case, Dean and Director of Financial Aid, Amherst College, "Wilkinson...

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Overview

From the first scholarship donated to Harvard in 1643 to today's world of "enrollment management" and federal grants and loans, the author gives a lively social and economic history of the conflicting purposes of student aid and makes proposals for the future. His research for this book is based on archives and interviews at 131 public and private institutions across the United States.

In the words of Joe Paul Case, Dean and Director of Financial Aid, Amherst College, "Wilkinson has mined the archives of dozens of institutions to create a mosaic that details the progress of student assistance from the 17th century to the present. He gives particular attention to the origins of need-based assistance, from the charitable benevolence of early colleges to the regulation-laden policies of the federal government. He gives due consideration to institutional motive--he challenges the egalitarian platitudes of affluent colleges and questions the countervailing market and economic forces that may imperil need-based aid at less competitive institutions. By drawing on scores of personal interviews and exchanges of correspondence with aid practitioners, Wilkinson fleshes out recent decades, helping the reader to understand new trends in the provision of aid."

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

The media, higher education leaders, state and federal policy makers, administrators all will benefit from Wilkinson's analysis.
--Lawrence E. Gladieux, Former Washington Director, The College Board

. . . engaging and comprehensive . . . Bringing past, present, and future together in the concluding chapter, Wilkinson summarizes the lessons of three and one-half centuries and succinctly outlines the messages they hold for the continuing story of student financial aid in the United States.
--History of Education Quarterly

. . . insightful . . . Wilkinson's timely, readable, and even entertaining book contains rich appendixes, a glossary, notes, and bibliography. It deserves reading and discussion by college administrators, higher education officials, and public policy makers. . . . Highly recommended.
--Choice

. . . a superb history of student-aid policies and practices in a dynamic environment influenced by social, cultural, economic, and political forces.
-- Academe

With an understanding of budgetary processes and pressures, this book explores how aid developed in America and plays out for students and schools alike. Through an engaging narrative the book's author blends stories with data. Don't be daunted by the fact that the first chapter begins in 1641--this is not a dry recounting of dates and events. Rather, in noting the conflicting purposes of student aid, the book connects past people and events to present ideas and practices.
--University Business

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780826515025
  • Publisher: Vanderbilt University Press
  • Publication date: 10/28/2005
  • Pages: 362
  • Sales rank: 1,152,613
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.94 (d)

Meet the Author


Rupert Wilkinson, former Professor of American Studies and History at the University of Sussex, England, has taught at Brandeis, Smith, and Wesleyan. Author or editor of eight other books on elites and on American culture, he has published articles on student aid in the College Board Review and the Journal of Student Financial Aid.
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Table of Contents


CONTENTS

Prologue: A Gift Goes Awry

Part I. The American Way of Student Aid
1. Setting the Record Straight
2. Aid in History: Who Got It, What Shaped It
3. Enter Uncle Sam

Part II. The Way of Elite Colleges
4. The Roots of Student Aid
5. Merit and "Self-Help"
6. Seeking Equity and Order
7. Choosing the Best
8. New Strategies
9. Containing the Market

Part III.
Reforming the System

Appendixes
1. The Case of the Charitable Price Fixers: U.S. v. Brown University et al.
2. Research Strategy and Limits
3. Interviews and Archive Research by State and Institution
4. Watch Your Language: A Glossary of Financial Aid
Notes
Bibliography
Index

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  • Posted June 4, 2010

    A must read for all constituents who care about the state of Financial Aid today, and more...

    Wilkinson does an excellent job of setting the tone and expectations for the lens of his book - through the eyes of the elite college. He still manages to hit all of the major areas - history, strategy, regulations, and many of the challenges the Financial Aid community grapples with. He also seamlessly asks the tough questions and forces the Financial Aid professional to question and confirm the tough decisions that are made every day in offices across the country - of course all with the common goal of helping students attend college.

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