University News

U. one of two Ivies not to sign ‘Say Yes’ higher education compact

Brown has not signed the compact, which is intended to help students secure financial aid

Contributing Writer
Friday, October 11, 2013

The University is one of two Ivy League institutions that has not signed the Say Yes Higher Education Compact, an agreement between member universities and the nonprofit organization Say Yes to Education to provide financial aid to low-income students from urban backgrounds.

Cornell, Dartmouth and Princeton committed last month to the compact, which aims to connect public high school graduates with the financial support necessary to attend a partner institution that admits them, multiple news outlets reported. Brown and Yale are the only universities out of the eight Ivies not to have joined the compact, which now has 54 partner colleges and universities, according to Say Yes to Education’s website.

The compact currently focuses on high school graduates in the Buffalo, N.Y. and Syracuse, N.Y. areas, according to Say Yes to Education’s website. But compact members are in the process of expanding aid offerings to high school graduates in New York City and Philadelphia, said Jacques Steinberg, senior vice president for higher education and communications at Say Yes to Education.

“To give our students as broad a range of higher education options as possible, we would be honored if Brown would consider joining the higher education compact,” Steinberg said.

Penn, New York University and Tufts University have pledged to provide full financial aid to high school graduates with family incomes below $75,000. But the University already provides substantial aid to low-income students, Director of Financial Aid James Tilton wrote in email to The Herald.

“Currently at Brown, families with total annual incomes of less than $60,000 are not expected to contribute any funds from income toward college costs, nor do the students have any loans in their initial financial aid packages,” Tilton wrote, adding this policy allows most students in this income bracket to afford the University. Tilton wrote he could not provide further information on whether the University plans to sign the compact.

Yale Dean of Admissions Jeremiah Quinlan has begun negotiating with Steinberg about joining the compact, the Yale Daily News reported Sept. 26.

Cornell decided to partner with Say Yes to Education to help spread awareness among low-income students from urban school districts of financial aid opportunities that make college accessible, said Cornell Vice Provost Barbara Knuth in a Sept. 18 Cornell press release.

Dartmouth signed the compact to show support for Say Yes to Education’s ongoing efforts, said Dartmouth Assistant Director of Financial Aid Katie Kobylenski.

  • Joe’09

    Because nobody gives a crap about kids from rural areas.

  • johnlonergan

    Why isn’t Brown working with AP course teachers in poor and rich high schools around the nation and around the world? With only 54% of those accepted coming to Brown, we clearly have a relationship problem. It’s time to wake up and reach out to the high school students we want.

    Why can’t we educate millions of high school students with our “excellent teaching”? That would help us to expand our acceptance pool from a measly 29,000 to hundreds of millions of students from around the world.

    Lonergan, BA ’72, Harvard MBA ’76, Medical device VC, San Francisco

    us in an effort to bring real change to Brown at