According to the Wall Street Journal, 37% of Baylor’s scholarship budget last year was awarded based on factors other than financial need, compared to an average of less than 10% for other schools the newspaper analyzed.
Livingstone said dividends from the university’s $ 1.8 billion endowment were about $ 2,500 per student, due to increased enrollment.
“It’s actually a pretty low amount,” Livingstone said.
Baylor spokeswoman Lori Fogleman said the percentage of incoming student families using the Parent Plus program is declining.
The total number of students using the program has grown, but the size of incoming classes has grown faster. In 2017, 13%, or 290 incoming students, used the program, up from 8%, or 341 incoming students, this year, Fogleman said. She also said the number of incoming students taking out student loans has increased from 50% to 35% in the past seven years.
Nathan Alleman, associate professor of graduate studies at Baylor and expert on low-income students, called the Wall Street Journal article “upsetting.” Alleman helped start a pantry for students and works with a low income student support group that records the amount of debt students graduate with.
He said Baylor University has taken steps to support low-income students in their day-to-day campus life, but there has never been a university-wide conversation about what happens when they leave.