Many Factors at Play in Minority Access to Higher Education
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The author draws some analysis about barriers to college entrance and completion faced by low-income African American and Hispanic students. He points out that both are similar to those faced by all low-income people: limited knowledge about how to access and pay for college; insufficient academic preparation; cultural proclivities that make pursuing a college preparatory track more difficult; and prohibitive college prices. Also, African Americans appear to have a tougher time completing college than whites even after accounting for socioeconomic indicators such as family income, while Hispanics do not, and Asians outpace whites even after controlling for SES. This may well be a result of more entrenched cultural deficits stemming from centuries of oppression for African Americans, while Asian culture is more heavily geared toward academic achievement. The author argues that the good news is that these problems can be overcome. Indeed, huge progress was made in the 1970s and 1980s by African Americans, at least as measured by NAEP. However, there are significant challenges to increasing black and Hispanic college completion, but they are far from insurmountable.