Hyprocisy in Allen Building? Nowicki aide talks about self study leading to conversation about financial aid. FC bets Nowicki keeps study secret

✔Fact Checker here.

The assistant vice provost writes:

"I am hopeful that the new financial aid advisory committee, as well as the socioeconomic diversity study being conducted by the Office of the Dean of Undergraduate Education, will help to bring financial aid into the public conversation at Duke..."

Well the assistant vice provost is pretty new here and perhaps she does not understand. How many studies by the Dean of Undergraduate Education have ever been made public to facilitate a conversation at Duke? Answer: none that FC is aware of.

I'd welcome hearing from Dean Nowicki with a list of studies he has made public, however, because Fact Checker always accepts correction. And I'd welcome a promise from Nowicki that the socioeconomic diversity study will be made public in full.

✔There are many internal studies that would be interesting fodder. For example a study that shows that black students -- considering the credentials they arrive with including high school grades and SAT scores -- do not get grades as high as admissions officers expected. No where near as high. The same is true for Hispanic students, but their grades do not lag as much as expected.

Perhaps the assistant vice provost can help Fact Checker obtain that study, although at the moment I am betting my tickets to the Carolina game (attention blogger named Crazy, here's your chance) that none of this will be transparent.

Loyal Readers, be advised that FC once asked for a list of all self-studies, not their data nor conclusions, just a list and was told this too is confidential.

As for the College Board, has Duke gone to the board and explained why being able to reveal its formulas would be very useful? Has Duke considered joining with other universities and building an alternative to the College Board system?

I'll bet you a drink on the Robertson bus to Chapel Hill (read today's column by Sandeep Prasanna to learn how soused it is)
that Duke has not taken either of these steps.

✔In the meantime, decency requires that Duke be consistent in stating the cost of attending school.

These numbers never match:

A) the cost of tuition, fees, room and board calculated by the financial aid office, as it appears on letters sent applicants about their prospective aid.

B) the numbers about the same items that appear in a news release after every February meeting of the Trustees, where they jack tuition.

C) the numbers on line under Quick Facts about Duke.

I also note that Quick Facts states that in 2009-10 (the latest year offered) "Four of 10 undergraduates receive need-based financial aid." However, the ever jolly fund-raisers in their just issued report on giving during the 2009-10 academic year -- filled with more self congratulation than donations -- state "nearly half of Duke undergraduates received some form of financial aid."

That's a difference of about 600 students.

✔✔Fact Checker. Counting everyone carefully.