Dana Anselmi, Senior Associate Director of Admission & Director of Financial Aid, Berkshire School, MA, Heidi Jamieson, Director of Financial Aid, Phillips Academy Andover, MA, and LeRhonda Greats, Dean of Diversity and Inclusion, Berkshire School, MA
In 2016, a Trinity College graduate produced a documentary called “(Un)Privileged: The Cost of Being Poor at an Elite Institution.” The film chronicles the experiences of students who receive full financial aid and the challenges they face as they are invited to be a part of something grand, yet lack the financial resources and understanding of the elite mindset to fully engage.
Stories like this are not limited to higher education, and are perhaps even more prevalent in independent high schools, where the barbell effect with regard to socioeconomic backgrounds is more pronounced.
The presentation addresses the basic measures taken at two different boarding schools to support students who receive financial aid, including subsidized books and fees, school-sponsored trips, travel to and from campus, tutorial support, music lessons, medical needs, and other incidental expenses. We focus on engaging students and other key stakeholders, as well as the process of creating an affinity group in order to address socioeconomic barriers in each unique community.