A few articles to ponder…

The first article is about a recent study about access and who benefits most from Pell Grants.  It provides an interesting discussion about motivation, support and causation.  Personally, I am hesitant to agree with the author that the “extra grant seemed to make [those most likely to succeed] less likely to persist,” but I do think this type of research could lead to some very important discussions about restructuring our current system.  It makes sense intuitively that people who do not have the same sort of socioeconomic support (those who are less likely to succeed) are going to have the most to gain from additional grants and funding because it starts to even the playing field.  So, where do we go from here?  Does Obama’s administration cut funding to Pell Grants and tighten access?  Do we reallocate the current funding to a smaller pool?  Do we keep going with the current system?

The second article intrigued me mainly because of our discussion in Foundations with Tim Wilson.  University of South Florida is introducing a policy where incoming students can identify as male, female or transitioning.  Eventually they will be introducing a gender-neutral residence hall.  I am intrigued by this model and am curious to see the reception of this new program and the feedback they receive from the male, female and transitioning population.

The last article is an interesting development in the state of Michigan regarding admissions and affirmative action.  The article made reference to the fact that Washington has a similar constitutional law.  I am curious to see if the decision of the U.S. Appeals Court (6th circuit) will provide a reason for states such as California and Washington to start wrestling with a similar discussion about access and equal protection under current admissions systems.


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