#1399: Affordability And Access To College

May 13, 2016

On this week’s 51%, we hear from a college president who focuses on affordability and access. Then we meet an activist whose mic gives communities a voice, and a teenage girl talks about her parents’ divorce. I’m Allison Dunne and this is 51%.

Catharine Bond Hill became the tenth president of Vassar College in July 2006.  Hill is a noted economist whose work focuses on higher education affordability and access, as well as on economic development and reform in Africa. Under Hill’s leadership, Vassar has reinstated need-blind admissions and replaced loans with grants in financial aid for low-income families. From these efforts and others in admissions and financial aid the college now enrolls a much more socioeconomically diverse student body. This earned Vassar the first-ever Cooke Prize for Equity in Educational Excellence in 2015, which at $1 million is the largest award of its kind. Moreover, the first two editions of the New York Times “College Access Index” (2014, 2015), which measures the most economically diverse top colleges, recognized Vassar as the leading private institution. Hill will conclude her presidency on June 30, 2017. In a letter announcing her departure to members of the Vassar community, Hill wrote that she is most proud of how the diversity of the student body has grown. She says the number of low-income students at Vassar has doubled from a decade ago. Hill talks about the variety of things accomplished over her nearly 10 years. 

We go from the college community to the radio community. Human rights activist Chatou Mahamadou is using her radio platform to fight for change in Niger. Her program gives local communities the opportunity to air their grievances – and know they’ll be heard. DW correspondent Julia Henrichmann has more.  

That was one kind of change and here is a different kind. The summer before her sophomore year of high school, Audrey’s parents filed for a divorce.  This big change affected her views on family, marriage, and relationships. Lindsey Staub reports. 

And that's our show this week. Thanks to Patrick Garrett for production assistance. Our executive producer is Dr. Alan Chartock. Our theme music is Glow in the Dark by Kevin Bartlett. This show is a national production of Northeast Public Radio. If you’d like to hear this show again, sign up for our podcast, or visit the 51% archives on our web site at wamc.org. And follow us on Twitter @51PercentRadio

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