With the growing demand for college-educated workers, a college education is one of the surest ways into the middle class. To help more students afford and graduate from college, the Administration has taken steps to address these challenges – doubling Federal investments in Pell Grants and college tax credits, reforming student loans, and taking new steps to reduce college costs and improve value. But while the President continues to push for changes that
keep college affordable for all students and families, we can and must be doing more to get more low-income students prepared for college, enrolled in quality institutions, and graduating.
Factors that Assist Low-Income Students of Color in Pursuing Higher Education
Education is a key factor in determining how members of society will make a living and
contribute to the greater good of our country. However, it is well known that all children do not receive equal education opportunities. In fact, when children are separated into ethnic groups there is a clear gap of achievement shown between students of color and their white counter parts. This achievement gap is measured through children’s grades, standardized-testing, high school drop-out rates, and completion of college (Achievement Gap, 2011). In 2001, national attention was called to the achievement gap through the passing of No Child Left Behind (NCLB) legislation. Still many people would argue that NCLB has not helped to reduce the gap and students of color are still in fact getting left behind.
Barriers to Success: Unmet Financial Need for Low-Income Students of Color in Community College
Postsecondary education plays a vital role in increasing upward mobility and economic success for individuals and their families. The need for education beyond high school is growing, as nearly two-thirds of all U.S. jobs will require some form of postsecondary education or training by 2020. But for some individuals, the likelihood of pursuing postsecondary education varies substantially by family income. Over the last three decades, the cost of college tuition and fees has increased nearly four times faster than the median income, and the majority of Americans (75 percent) believe college is too expensive for most to afford.
Effective Counseling in Schools Increases College Access
Research verifies that counselors have a positive impact on students’ aspirations, plans, enrollments, and financial aid knowledge. Meeting frequently with a counselor increases a student’s chance of enrolling in a four-year college, and if students, parents, and counselors work together and communicate clearly, students’ chances of enrolling in college significantly increases.
December 31, 2015
Study Warns of Looming Mental Health Crisis for Black College Students
As the U.S. Supreme Court weighs an affirmative action case that's sparked controversial debate over whether African-American students can succeed at elite universities, a new study shows that those who do may be doing so at the risk of their own health.
The study, from researchers at Vanderbilt University's Peabody College of Education and Human Development, argues that researchers are overlooking a looming mental health crisis for black college students who have had to draw on "grit" – mental toughness and perseverance – to achieve in predominantly white academic institutions.
Study Finds Students Underperform in Schools With Large Black Populations
As concerns mount over the resegregation of the nation’s public schools, a new federal study shows that black and white students at schools with a high density of black students perform worse than those at schools with a lower density of black students.
The report, released Thursday by the National Center for Education Statistics, the research arm of the U.S. Department of Education, sheds new light on the achievement gap between white and black students and bolsters policymakers’ fears about the ramifications of increasingly segregated schools.
There is a huge untapped source of human capital that could revolutionize the support and mentoring that current first generation college students desperately want and need: first generation college student alumni. Colleges and universities are only beginning to realize the potential of these alums as mentors. And when they put into place the systems and processes to connect yesterday’s first generation students with today’s first gens, many “problems” could be solved quickly and efficiently with modest financial outlays.
What It's Like to Be the First Person in Your Family to Go to College
These challenges are sometimes so formidable that studies say that only 8 percent of low-income (many of whom are first-generation) students will graduate college by age 25. Social integration is only one piece of the puzzle for these students, and for Harry—like many other students—combating this transition can be easier with the help of older peers, teachers and guiding professors who act as mentors. While the definition of “mentor” varies, there are both informal and formal structures that have the potential to influence first-generation college persistence and graduation. Armed with this understanding, many secondary and post-secondary institutions have created programming to better support and mentor first-generation students.