On 'smart, poor kids applying to the wrong colleges'

Mar 12, 2013
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Slate Magazine has a multi-faceted look at what happens when poor kids lack the resources---financial and advising support---that result in applying to selective colleges and universities. A Stanford/Harvard study cites, "10,000 or 20,000 of America’s brightest high-school graduates don’t go to a great college not because they can’t afford one but because they don’t realize they should apply." The report suggests changes in geographical recruiting practices and advising that can help high-achieving, low-income, often first generation, students set their sights higher. But once these kids reach college with the appropriate financial aid package, do their institutions provide the resources to keep them enrolled? By this, I don't mean academic resources, but does the school provide substantial financial aid for all four years of matriculation? Sometimes an alluring first-year of funding evaporates, leaving students to assume burdensome loans or take on part-time jobs that leave little energy for a great academic track record. The New York Times had a few stories last year about students who started from a position of disadvantage financially and simply couldn't make ends meet to stay enrolled. One example of strategies schools are using to see minority students through to graduation can be found in this NYT article http://goo.gl/fN5t8.

Each year, middle-class American high-school seniors with good grades go through a familiar ritual of the college application process. They file a bunch of applications-perhaps after visiting several schools-submitting test scores, grades, essays, and letters of recommendation. They apply to a "reach" school or two and a "safety" school or...

Read more at: Slate