New statistics on economic diversity and student outcomes at DePauw

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DePauw University is among the highest in Indiana and selective private colleges that has students from the top one and five percent income levels, and it is among the lowest in Indiana to enroll students from the bottom 20 percent income levels, according to a new study from Equality of Opportunity with The New York Times’ UPSHOT reports.

The study found that students at elite, highly selective and selective colleges are even wealthier than previously thought. This study is based on millions of anonymous tax filings and tuition records from 1980 to 1991.

While comparing DePauw to other selective private colleges, the study found that the median family income of a student is $144,400, and 59 percent come from the top 20 percent eaners. Less than one percent of students come from poor families but became rich as adults.

“I think that one of the questions that DePauw has committed itself to is the idea of college access in the long term and that’s why we’re making all the efforts we’re making to, to continually increase our scholarship sources, to increase the endowment, to continue to pave the way for college accessibility,” President Mark McCoy said.

In addition to analyzing the University’s access to different income groups, the outcomes of DePauw students were also reported for those around the age of 35. DePauw is among the highest in Indiana and among selective private colleges for its students to have an average income of $52,900, but this income is about typical for universities within the North Coast Athletic Conference as a whole. Additionally for students 35 years old, men appeared to have made $67,300 as their median income while women made $47,100.

It was also found that 48 percent of DePauw students end up in the top 20 percent, among the highest in the state and with selective private colleges, yet about eight percent are in the bottom 20 percent. Additionally, about six percent of students end up in the one percent after DePauw.

However, DePauw was among the lowest in regards to selective private colleges to have its students move up two or more income quintiles at 13 percent. Less than one percent of students moved from the bottom to top income quintile, but this statistic is one of the highest in Indiana as well as among similar universities.

Moreover, the data suggests that these private institutions do not offer much social mobility, at least for adults born between 1980 and 1982. Overall, the study discovered that the colleges with the highest social mobility rate for students from poor families were not elite universities and colleges but those that are mid-tier public ones such as the City University of New York.
“Costs continue to go up and we have to find the way to continue to maintain access for all students. And, of course, again I’m going to come back to this,”said President McCoy. “As a first generation college student, I recognize the value, the power, of a college education on changing the trajectory of lives.”

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