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“The perception is that Transy is for rich kids,” says Johnnie Johnson, the Transy director of Admissions. Johnson oversees the application and admission process for the approximately 300 students who enroll as first-years each fall.
“There’s a perception out there that [Transy] is only for the rich kids, but that’s not necessarily the case,” he adds.
Transy has a reputation as the school that the economic elite—the folks with money—send their children to. For its part, the university disputes that characterization by highlighting in various posts the “Best Value” ranking that a Transy degree offers to prospective students from all backgrounds. Transy also touts its affordability in its advertising.
The university also tries to emphasize that the apparent high cost of a Transy degree is not so costly for many students.
Before we get into the data, let’s explain where it comes from. Each year, colleges and universities across the U.S. report a great deal of their financial data to the federal Department of Education, including data that relates to how students at each school receive financial aid and how students pay for school. Additional data was compiled by The Education Trust, a think tank that focuses on federal education policy.
This data was then turned into a searchable tool by ProPublica, a journalistic nonprofit that focuses on in-depth investigative reporting. This tool provided unprecedented clarity on how colleges and universities in Kentucky impact students from low-income backgrounds.
Using this dataset, as well as data from the Department of Education and the New York Times, The Rambler was able to look at almost every college or university in Kentucky. Additionally, Rambler reporters spoke with Transy students, staff, administrators, and faculty to add personal context and additional data to the story.