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How Gross Inequalities in Institutional Wealth Distort the Higher Education Ecosystem and Shortchange the Vast Majority of Middle and Lower-Income Undergraduates

Ask yourself: Would the $20 million gift that Bloomberg Philanthropies gave to Princeton in 2021 to support the university’s first-generation and low-income students have a greater impact at Tougaloo College, an HBCU with a $10 million endowment?

The very question—posed by educational historian Bruce A. Kimball and Sarah M. Iler, assistant director of the University of North Carolina’s School of the Arts—answers itself.

By way of contrast, consider the University of Pennsylvania’s 2020 pledge to contribute $100 million over 10 years to the Philadelphia School District to renovate decrepit schools. At least that might assist a more diverse student body.

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