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Private Universities Held Cost Efficient



Private Universities Held Cost Efficient


Article published in the New York Times discussing the success rates of disadvantaged students in private institutions versus city and state universities.


Higher education
Graduation rates


Williams, Lana




Queens College Department of Special Collections and Archives (New York, N.Y.)



Date Created



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Spatial Coverage

New York, N.Y


Study says Disadvantaged Students Are Graduating After Expenditure of Lower Amount Than City U.
By Lana Williams
A study by the New York State Department of Education has found that disadvantaged students in educational opportunity programs at private universities are graduated at much lower cost to state, city and Federal governments than students in similar programs at the City and State Universities.
The study was based on the cost to produce such a graduate during a five-year period, but the analysis of the cost of graduating had to include the thousands of students who dropped out before getting a degree and those who neede more than the allowed five year to earn one.
The analysis found, for instance, that students who applied for aid programs at private institutions were carefully screened, interviewed and pretested. Once admitted they wet enrolled in special summer orientation courses before taking on the full curriculum.
As a result, the study concluded, the dropout rate among the students at the private institutions was much lower than at City and State Universities, and more of them graduated within the five years.
At the same time, it found that little or no pre-screening of students was done at the City and the State Universities and that no summer orientation courses were offered to students in the programs at those institutions.
The State Investigation Commission released the findings of the study during two days of public hearings last week on alleged improprieties in the administration of the Educational Opportunity Programs. The hearings were held at the State Office Building at 270 Broadway.
Albert Sohn, assistant commissioner and chief accountant for the commission said that the cost to produce a graduate in the City University SEEK program for the disadvantaged was $103,061 more that 5 times higher than that at a private institution where the cost to produce a graduate was put at $18,570. The acronym SEEK stands for Search for Education, Elevation and Knowledge.
"In 1967, 4,460 students were admitted into the SEEK program with the idea that all or most of these students would successfully complete the program and graduate in five years," said Mr. Sohn. "However, five years later only 537, or 12 percent,of those students actually graduated even though the others were maintained, or financed through opportunity aid."
During that same period, Mr. Sohn added, 2,901 students were admitted to private universities's aid programs and 1,427 or 49 percent were graduated.
The Educational Opportunity Programs were enacted into law by the State Legislature almost 10 years ago to help high school graduates from defined "poverty areas" obtain a college education.
The state spends $60 million a year on 27,500 students enrolled in 53 aid programs at the State and City Universities, community colleges and nonpublic colleges and universities. The money is given directly to the individual schools to set up the programs on the campus.
The law requires that each college to spend its funds for special testing, counseling and guidance and remedial courses. About $940 is given to each student for books, travel, incidental expenses and special tutors.
Because opportunity aid does not pay for tuition or room and board, students in the programs are encouraged to apply for additional financial support from other city and state aid programs such as Tuition Assistance Program (TAP) and Work- Study.

Original Format

8.5 x 11 inches (216 x 279 mm)



Williams, Lana, “Private Universities Held Cost Efficient,” Queens College Civil Rights Archives, accessed May 17, 2022, http://archives.qc.cuny.edu/civilrights/items/show/285.