© 2021 WKSU
Public Radio News for Northeast Ohio
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
Available On Air Stations

Report Finds Fewer Low-Income Students Enrolled at Ohio Universities

a photo of rep. catherine ingram
State Rep. Catherine Ingram (D-Cincinnati) at the Statehouse.

An Ohio lawmaker is calling attention to a report that she said raises red flags over college affordability.

The report pointed out several in-state colleges and universities with a low enrollment of students from low-income and working class families.

The report from Education Reform Now, a Democratic think tank, named seven Ohio institutions with lower-than-average enrollment of students who receive the Pell grant, which goes to students with a household income under $60,000.

Those schools are: Case Western Reserve University; Kenyon College; Miami University; Oberlin College; Ohio State University; College of Wooster; and University of Dayton.

State Rep. Catherine Ingram (D-Cincinnati) called the findings troubling.

"Because they impact Ohio's most vulnerable, low-income, and working class families. Higher education should be equitable and accessible to all Ohioans," Ingram said.

Critics of the study question the report's methodology, arguing that it doesn't accurately measure what schools are doing to become more accessible.

C. Todd Jones, president of the Association of Independent Colleges and Universities of Ohio, said the report's methodology compares "apples to oranges" and that it's a missed opportunity to get to the heart of the problem of accessibility. He also points out the data examines enrollment of a student's first pick, without transfers, and only full-time students.

Todd Jones said the report doesn't accurately reflect all factors of students who receive the Pell grant.

"Low-income students tend to be part-time in greater numbers and they also have a greater chance of being someone who transfers from a community college."