skip to main content skip to footer

Financial Aid Awards of High School Seniors in the Northeastern States as a Function of Socioeconomic Class SES

Schlekat, George A.
Publication Year:
Report Number:
ETS Research Bulletin
Document Type:
Page Count:
Subject/Key Words:
College Board, Analysis of Variance (ANOVA), College Bound Students, High School Seniors, Parents' Confidential Statement, Secondary School Students, Socioeconomic Status (SES), Student Employment, Student Financial Aid


The study analyzes the relationship between socioeconomic status of financial aid applicants and college practices in distributing aid, taking account of measured academic ability and financial need. Socioeconomic status was determined from variables extracted from approximately 16,000 Parents' Confidential Statements, randomly selected from files accumulated during the 1964-65 academic year. One thousand colleges returned 19,131 usable questionnaires. Award offers were made to 6,579 of the applications represented by the questionnaires and were included in the analysis. Results of analyses of variance and covariance procedures indicate that there is no straightforward answer to the question of whether socioeconomic classes are treated differently. In some ways upper classes receive preferential treatment, apparently because of superior test scores; lower classes are treated better in other ways, partly because of their poverty. It may be said that lower-class applicants have a better chance of receiving aid, and in larger amounts, than their upper-class peers. But their awards more often consist of loans and jobs rather than outright grants which are more frequently awarded to the upper-class applicant. Thus, the upper socioeconomic classes are more likely to graduate from college with less indebtedness than lower classes, who not only mortgage their future more heavily but are also required to devote more of their free time to gainful employment.

Read More