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The Disparity of College Access Between Low Income Students and Medium to High Income Students. Chris Brewer EDCI 6300 Summer 2007. Introduction. Millions of low-income high school seniors are unable to attend college for reasons other than academic preparedness.

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The disparity of college access between low income students and medium to high income students l.jpg

The Disparity of College Access Between Low Income Students and Medium to High Income Students

Chris Brewer

EDCI 6300

Summer 2007


Introduction l.jpg
Introduction and Medium to High Income Students

  • Millions of low-income high school seniors are unable to attend college for reasons other than academic preparedness.

  • The number of low-income students as well as students living in poverty is on the rise.

  • The surest way to break the cycle of poverty is to obtain a college degree.


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Why is this important? and Medium to High Income Students

  • In 2003 there were 35.9 million American citizens living below the poverty line. This represents 12.5 percent of the nation’s population (United States Census Bureau, 2004).

  • One in six children lives in poverty and one in five is born poor (National Council of Churches, 2002).

  • Low-income levels cut across race, gender, and religious lines.

  • In order to remain economically competitive on a global level, the United States must find a solution to this problem.


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Reasons For Disparity and Medium to High Income Students

  • Less Prepared for College

  • Rising Cost and Less Financial Aid for Low-Income Students

  • Institutions Targeting Better Prepared Higher Income Students


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Less Prepared for College and Medium to High Income Students

  • Low-income students are more likely to come from educationally disadvantaged homes, to attend under funded schools, and to have SAT scores that lag 200 points behind higher-income students (Kahlenberg, 2006).

  • 62 percent of children in poverty have parents with no college education (National Center for Children in Poverty, 2006)


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Rising Cost and Less Financial Aid for Low-Income Students and Medium to High Income Students

  • Federal and state student-aid programs have increasingly been directed toward middle-income rather than lower-income students (Ehrenberg, 2007).

  • Merit based scholarships (which are given primarily to higher-income students) are growing at a much higher rate than need-based grants (Kahlenberg, 2006).

  • Pell grants, which used to cover about 84 percent of the cost of attending college, now covers only about 36 percent (National Center for Educational Statistics, 2005)

  • In the last twenty years, college tuition has risen at a rate of two to three percentage points above inflation.


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Institutions Targeting Better Prepared Higher Income Students

  • Because of rankings (such as U.S. News and World Report), colleges have a tendency to channel scarce resources toward financial aid for students with high SAT or ACT scores (Kahlenberg, 2006).

  • Colleges have also failed to adequately control tuition and fees.


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What can be done? Students

  • Expand federal, state, and institutional need-based aid programs.

  • Put less emphasis on college rankings.

  • Reform federal financial aid rules to make sure aid gets to those who need it.

  • More equitable funding in the nations K-12 school systems.

  • Emphasize the need for education to low-income students and their parents.


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If we continue to ignore this issue and allow low-income children to perpetuate the cycle of low educational attainment, there will exist in America a feudal system where higher education is reserved only for the wealthy. This is not what our forefathers had in mind when this country was started.


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Annotated Websites and Print Resources children to perpetuate the cycle of low educational attainment, there will exist in America a feudal system where higher education is reserved only for the wealthy. This is not what our forefathers had in mind when this country was started.

  • Ehrenberg, Ronald G. (2007). How Governments Can Improve Access to College. The Chronicle of Higher Education (Vol. 53, Issue 31, Page B6).

  • Kahlenberg, Richard D. (2006). Cost Remains a Key Obstacle to College Access. The Chronicle of Higher Education (Vol. 52, Issue 27, Page B51).

  • National Center for Children in Poverty. (2006). Parents’ Low Education Leads to Low Income. Retrieved July 12, 2007 from http://www.nccp.org/publications/pub_685.html


Annotated websites and print resources continued l.jpg
Annotated Websites and Print Resources Continued children to perpetuate the cycle of low educational attainment, there will exist in America a feudal system where higher education is reserved only for the wealthy. This is not what our forefathers had in mind when this country was started.

  • National Center for Educational Statistics. (2005). Retrieved July 13, 2007 from http://nces.ed.gov/fastfacts/display.asp?id=31

  • National Council of Churches. (2002). Poverty by the Numbers. Retrieved July 12, 2007 from http://www.ncccusa.org/poverty/by-the-numbers.html

  • United States Census Bureau. (2004). Income, Poverty, and Health Insurance Coverage in the United States: 2003. Retrieved July 12, 2007 from http://www.census.gov/Press-Release/www/releases/archives/income_wealth/002484.html


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Additional Resources children to perpetuate the cycle of low educational attainment, there will exist in America a feudal system where higher education is reserved only for the wealthy. This is not what our forefathers had in mind when this country was started.

  • http://www.collegefortn.com/

    This website assists in planning, applying, and funding a college education.

  • http://www.collegeboard.com/student/pay/index.html

    This website gives information on college cost and how to pay for it.

  • http://www.supercollege.com/

    This website allows students to search and apply for scholarships.


Additional resources continued l.jpg
Additional Resources Continued children to perpetuate the cycle of low educational attainment, there will exist in America a feudal system where higher education is reserved only for the wealthy. This is not what our forefathers had in mind when this country was started.

  • http://www.futureofchildren.org/

    This website contains research on children including poverty and education issues.

  • http://www.stopchildpoverty.org/

    This organization is devoted to fighting poverty.