America’s top public universities, known as flagships, are generally the most well-resourced public universities in their respective states — think the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor or the University of Tennessee in Knoxville. They’re rigorous schools, and many were built on federal land grants meant to serve the “industrial classes.” Today, only four public flagship universities are affordable for students from low-income families, according to a report from the Institute for Higher Education Policy.
Access to public universities can be critical for low-income students because those institutions can serve as engines for upward mobility. And these schools aren’t living up to their responsibility to remain affordable, says Mamie Voight, one of the study’s authors from IHEP.
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