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The Road Ahead for America's Colleges and Universities$
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Robert B. Archibald and David H. Feldman

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780190251918

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: July 2017

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780190251918.001.0001

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Environmental Threat I

Environmental Threat I

Stagnating Family Income

(p.107) 6 Environmental Threat I
The Road Ahead for America's Colleges and Universities

Robert B. Archibald

Oxford University Press

Changes in the American income distribution since the 1970s are a major source of turbulence in the higher education industry. Family incomes at the bottom of the distribution have not grown since the 1960s, while family incomes at the top have soared. For families in the middle- and upper-middle-income groups, incomes have been flat in the twenty-first century. We show how this sea change in inequality helps fuel the increase in tuition discounting, the rise in student debt, and the separation of the higher education system into well-resourced institutions for the haves and poorly financed institutions for the have-nots.

Keywords:   income inequality, affordability, student debt, discounting, merit aid, need-based aid

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