One of the reasons I decided to go into talk radio 10 years ago was to dispel all of the rumors, myths and lies I was seeing being disseminated by the news organizations, well at the time I thought were news organizations.

We consistently are hearing the drumbeat that low income students are being squeezed out of our colleges and universities and the middle and high income student’s numbers are increasing.

Well that is flat out wrong, in fact when it comes to middle income students the news media’s tale is completely opposite.

The American Enterprise Institute (AEI) released a new study last week that found that middle-income student enrollment at America’s top 200 colleges fell between 2000 and 2016.

The study stated:

it is middle-income students, not low-income students, who are becoming less represented on these campuses…In terms of middle-class students, it looks like that is the one group we can pretty clearly say from our data is shrinking at these schools

This study considered a middle-income student as someone whose family has an income between $26,039 and $99,156 in 2014.

The study found that:

Students whose family’s income fell between $53,788 and $99,156 saw the biggest enrollment drop in America’s top schools. These enrolled students represented 23.7 percent of students in 1999-2000. However, the student’s enrollment rate declined to 16.1 percent in 2015-2016.

Jason Delisle, co-author of the study stated:

This whole narrative around low-income students declining as a share of students who are enrolled doesn’t seem right based on the data

Now let us look at “low-income” students and see where their number are.  According to the study:

Low-income students represented 8.1 percent of students in 1999-2000. But that number nearly doubled to 15.1 percent in 2015-2016.

In fact the study went on to say that it appears low-income students are “likely overrepresented” in top U.S. schools.

I am not saying that “low income” students should not receive help to pay for the high cost of attending these schools but we should at least all be relying on really data to form our opinions and not “fake news”.

The Live with Renk show airs Monday through Friday 9 a.m. to noon, to let me know your thoughts call (269) 441-9595