Saturday, January 09, 2010

Could This Be at Play Here

I mentioned in my last post that the University of Iowa is also dealing with an alcohol abuse problem amongst their students. Here is one person's explanation for that problem.
...Tom Mortenson, an Iowa resident and a higher-education policy analyst who writes the newsletter Postsecondary Education Opportunity, told me that Iowa City has changed as the University of Iowa looks beyond state lines for a larger share of its student body. (Iowa enrolls the highest proportion of out-of-state students, 48 percent, of any large public university.[Ed. This is the percentage of freshman. The percentage of all undergraduates is 37% XLS file.])

"Students from Illinois brought truckloads of money. Suddenly, the streets were full of cars that were newer than those of the faculty. We brought in a bunch of rich kids, who partied and drank and got into trouble with the police," Mortenson said. "This isn't what public higher education is supposed to be about."
Penn State, which has come to depend  on out-of-state students for their higher tuition dollars,  doesn't have nearly the same percentage of out-of-state students as Iowa. This year non-residents make up 25% of the University Park student body and 34% of the freshman class.  These numbers have been fairly constant over the past few years.

Could  out-of-state student be the primary factor in the Penn State's alcohol culture? I haven't the slightest idea, but it would be interesting to see  the percentage of students who have alcohol related problems who are from out-of-state. It would also be interesting to compare the family income distribution of students that have had alcohol related problems to the overall income distribution undergraduate families.

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