The colleges and universities of Boston are extremely diverse. They range from institutions such as Harvard and MIT, attracting attention from around the globe to the small area of Cambridge, Mass, to small colleges such as Simmons, a woman’s college, and Wentworth Institute of Technology, which tends to be primarily male. So do these universities, big and small, attempt to make higher education a likely possibility in the eyes of local city high school students whose families or financial status may be unfamiliar to the likes of major post secondary schools?
Boston College, located in Newton six miles from downtown Boston is ranked 38th in U.S. News and World Report among national universities. Costing roughly $37,000 a year, the price alone is enough to dismay thousands of perspective students from attending the college. BC is located in a residential area surrounded by Boston public schools such as Brighton High School and West Roxbury High, to name a few. Do these students, some of whom come from low –income families, stand a chance of attending Boston College?
In 1987 Boston College, in partnership with Boston public schools, started the College Bound program. Its mission is to help urban youth and their families aim to succeed in high school, higher education and beyond. Through mentoring, tutoring and exposure to a college environment, College Bound hopes to send Boston youth, who come from either Brighton or West Roxbury High, on to college. Eighty-five percent of college bound students will be first in their families to pursue a higher education.
The program appears organized and on the website it states that all of its students (142 to date) graduate from high school and are admitted to colleges. However, the program requires a minimum G.P.A. of 3.0 in high school to participate. This rules out many students who may also dream of attending college, but haven’t acquired the skills to do better in school.
A survey was conducted by Professor George Ladd, director of college bound, in order to assess Boston College’s contribution to the Boston public school system. The survey, which dealt with Boston College 1995-1996 academic year, states that BC donated $5.7 million in grants and pro bono services to Boston public schools. Of those millions, $113,000 was provided to the College Bound program. College Bound also receives funding through the State Department of Education, Fleet Bank, Polaroid and the Fund for the Improvement of Post Secondary Education.
Is BC really doing all it can to aid the youth of the community in which it has placed itself? Or is an elite school merely making an attempt to attract more elite students to its ranks? Compared to other colleges and universities of the area, it may not be certain.
Northeastern University is located in the Back Bay area of Boston and is ranked the No. 1 world leader in co-op education. Tuition is just over $35,000 per year. Northeastern, over the years, has pushed its borders out into the poorer residential community of Roxbury, making it well-known in the area. Many students attending the Boston Public School’s Fenway High School walk through the Northeastern campus each day to get to and from their school, stopping to grab a bite to eat at NU’s Curry Student Center. So how exactly are Northeastern’s academics aiding the community into which it has expanded?
In 1983, Dr. Joseph Warren created Northeastern University Academy, which, when endowed by the Balfour Foundation in 1989 became Balfour Academy. Balfour aims to integrate