The Challenge of 1%

Pat Bassett, the president of the National Association of Independent Schools, claims that independent schools serve roughly 1% of the overall student population. That particular figure has been much in the news this past year, and in general, the 1% topic hasn’t sparked a lot of “feel good” stories…

Related to this, a friend recently surveyed all of the students who are on significant financial aid at her school in an effort to find out what the stumbling blocks are for students from “non traditional” backgrounds, especially during their transition to private schools.

Two things surprised her:

First, students who have a particular ethnicity, nationality, or religious background may be proud of any or all of these attributes, but nobody is ever “proud” to be poor.

Second, many of the students on aid (in high school) are already worried in grade 9 about how they will pay for the major grade 12 dance. (Many of them are also the individual who completes the financial aid forms for the family.)

If educational opportunity is the civil rights issue of our time, how should we begin to think about addressing all of this?


3 thoughts on “The Challenge of 1%

  1. Firstly a top notch education at an institute like UCC is obviously going to cost a pretty penny, so the direct result is catering to the one percent. Obviously this doesn’t put the school in the brightest of lights with recent events.

    Secondly financial aid is probably the only thing that could counter this. The aid only goes so far as to cover the educational expenses. Of course the student will feel a bit isolated because of the high social expenses and socioeconomic gap . Maybe a sort of stipend can help finance the social needs of these students. Unless the school can fill this tall order somehow theres not much you can do.

    I’m very proud to say that my family believes in scholarships at UCC and will continue to do so.

  2. Naturally, I don’t have a straight or simply answer to this problem. However, I do have some thoughts, because it seems that your article states two different ideas: private schools educate only 1% of students, and those who are admitted on financial aid do not feel comfortable within the school.

    Firstly, I don’t think there is anything that would result in private schools only educating 1% of the student population other than financial aid. Admittedly, I know little about this, but it seems to me that as private schools are independent institutions, they can only lower tuition costs to a certain point.

    Secondly, it’s interesting that the two negative feelings towards private schools were attributed to financial aid students that were already enrolled in the school, which means that the school life of a financial aid student will not be the same as a student who is not – unless the school is capable of undergoing certain measures that result in both financial aid students and non financial aid students feeling an equal “right” to be there (a tall order, because it means stripping away the conception that money brings power, or “rights”).

    This is just my two cents sir. I apologize if my ideas are unhelpful.

  3. My husband’s take on things is that we are entering an era where there will be the upper 1 percent (actually the upper percent of the upper 1 per cent) running things with everyone else acting as drones.

    Everyone seems to be saying there is a difficult time ahead.

    We have encouraged our kids at the very least to aim to do what they like/love..I will see my son in NYC soon to get his read on the
    Barclays’ debacle. This ties in with what you are talking about.

    I hope your scholarship fundraising program is still intact. We
    believe in scholarships for UCC and support this cause.

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