College Scorecard response

posted in: Opinion | 0

I am a student at Pacific and I am writing this email in response to an article published in the Pacific Index regarding Pacific’s ranking and the effects of low income students on our score.

I believe the Index published this article with good intentions; however, I have some concerns regarding how the writer and Sarah Phillips referred to the impact of low income students’ presence on this campus. I am not calling to question the validity of the information presented; I am, however, asking for consideration regarding how the writer and interviewee presented the information. I believe this writer could have presented the same material in a way that does not imply that low income students are causing a problem for the school.

A specific aspect of this article I had an issue with is saying, “rankings are due to the number of low income students Pacific admits each year.” This statement shifts the blame off the university as an institution and onto the students themselves. While there are circumstances that may affect retention rates in low income students, as I would argue there are in students of all SES levels, this writer could have focused on how Pacific can be of better support to students of all income levels. In contrast, the writer focused on how Pacific’s rankings are low and low income students are at fault. The main quote promoting this article is another example of how this work does not demonstrate the celebration of diversity that Pacific’s mission statement claims this campus promotes.

Although the writer finishes the piece by stating Phillips’ appreciation for Pacific’s ability to help working class students, the article as a whole seems to say the students are benefiting, but they are hurting the university.

Thank you for considering my concerns with this article. Once again I do not believe the Index published this article with the intent to come off in this manner, but I wish to bring up awareness to how these words can be potentially harmful.


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