- A Wall Street Journal ranking of colleges and universities finds that Yale University is the nation's best at graduating students within six years and graduates are paying back student loans within three years of completion.
- The ranking identifies financial aid budgets, access to low-income students, academic reputation as top metrics for higher education success and value.
- Princeton, Stanford, Columbia, Duke trail Yale in the ranking, which concedes the point about generations of affluent donors and corporate ties which make the metrics possible.
The question about Yale's prominent statistics on student completion are a matter of "why" and not "how." Generations of support from private and federal resources for research and development have positioned Yale among the elite institutions which can draw from billion-dollar endowments to cover the full freight of the minute percentage of high-achieving, low-income students which they admit.
With shrinking state and federal funding, large public institutions are falling way behind on affordability. And with an increasing impetus on diversity impacting the public perception of colleges across the nation, those Ivy league and elite institutions which can afford to do so are making measurable efforts to increase access to low-income students. Their access to seemingly unending financial support for low-income enrollees dwarfs all that can be offered at a large public institution.
Not only does this perpetuate myths about college access, but in many ways, positions an argument from the federal government about elite institutions being the only legitimate higher education option worth funding.