Colleges lavishing more financial aid on wealthy students

STORRS, Conn. (AP) — Financial aid has traditionally been seen as a lifeline for poor students at public colleges. But it is increasingly being used to attract students from more affluent families.

In competition with private schools and other public universities, the state schools are using the money to lure the most qualified students, raise average test scores and entice students from high-income families who can pay the rest of the full sticker price.

It’s a shift that has helped state universities cope with declines in state funding for higher education.

Critics say state schools are effectively punishing the poor, making it harder for them to attend college at a time when the gap between tuition costs and what families can reasonably afford is only growing.

Copyright 2016 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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