Food Fight

Season 1 - EP5

Episode 05Food Fight


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Bowdoin College in Maine and Vassar College in upstate New York are roughly the same size. They compete for the same students. Both have long traditions of academic excellence. But one of those schools is trying hard to close the gap between rich and poor in American society—and paying a high price for its effort. The other is making that problem worse—and reaping rewards as a result.

“Food Fight,” the second of the three-part Revisionist History miniseries on opening up college to poor kids, focuses on a seemingly unlikely target: how the food each school serves in its cafeteria can improve or distort the educational system.

Admissions and Aid Statistics

Annual Budget

  • Bowdoin:$151.8 million (2015-2016)
  • Vassar:$147 million (2011-2012)
  • NYU:$2.892 billion (2015-2016)

Pell Recipients

  • Bowdoin:14% (2013-2014) ***278 total Pell grant recipients in 2014-2015
  • Vassar:23% (2015-2016) ***610 total Pell grant recipients in 2014-2015
  • NYU:20% (2013-2014) ***5,655 total Pell recipients in 2014-2015

Net tuition for students from families earning $30,000- $48,000

  • Bowdoin:$8,900 (2013-2014)
  • Vassar:$5,600 (2013-2014)
  • NYU:$28,600 (2013-2014)

Graduation Rate

  • Bowdoin:93% overall (86.1% on time)
  • Vassar:91.8% overall (87.8% on time)
  • NYU:82.4% overall (71.6% on time)

Financial Aid Budget

  • Bowdoin:$34.4 million (2015-2016)
  • Vassar:$58.4 million (2014-2015)
  • NYU:$551 million (2015-2016)

Net Tuition Collected (Less Financial Aid)

  • Bowdoin:$51.7 million (2014-2015)
  • Vassar:$64.1 million (2013-2014)
  • NYU:$1.648 billion (2015-2016)

Other Background


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