Its no secret that kids who come from families with less money have a harder time getting to college than those who come from families with more money. Wealthier students don’t have to worry about if they get enough financial aid and after all its more profitable for a university to offer $5,000 to a student from an affluent family than it is for them to offer a poorer student a $25,000 scholarship. However what I didn’t know was that on average minority students graduate at a lesser rate and with more debt than their Caucasian peers. How can this be the case? If we want to pride ourselves as a nation that gives everyone an equal opportunity, we need to make sure that our poor and minority students don’t graduate with more debt than their wealthier Caucasian counterparts.
When you hear that a student whose family earns more money can receive a larger scholarship to go to school you may not believe it at first. Or what about the fact that if you want to go to a private school it could cost you more than half of your family’s annual income. I didn’t believe it at first but its true, “low-income families are routinely being asked to fork over more than half of their annual income for the privilege of sending their child off to campus for a year”. How could you expect a family to live off of only half of their money? It sounds absolutely ridiculous. When you couple the incredible costs that students face with the fact that a higher percentage of the needier students are less likely to graduate, you are stuck with students who drop out and cannot afford to pay their student loans and their credit scores suffer effectively limiting what they get to do. In a sense the colleges are making it incredibly challenging for students to escape the cycle of being poor.
Colleges have been trying to figure out why the minority students and poorer students have been graduating at a lesser rate. In a PBS special they have an interview with a black student and the reason that he said he struggles and thinks other students struggle is because they feel out of place amongst the rest of the school population. The simple fix for this would be to do a better job of giving minority students and low-income students groups of others who are similar to them so they know that they aren’t alone. It makes sense that they would have a hard time because they have to spend worrying about things such as money when a child from a wealthier family can spend all of their time worrying about solely their education.
The Washington Post shows in their graphs how minority students and poor students graduate with more debt on average and I think that this needs to stop if we want to consider ourselves a country who gives everyone an equal opportunity. We need to make sure that education is readily available to all of our youth and not just some of them if we want our society to advance to its fullest potential.
As a society we need to come together to make sure everyone is allowed the same level of education to make sure that we all receive the tools we need to be successful in life. When a certain group of people is put on the harder side of receiving education it oppresses them as a group and that is something that will extinguish the flames of people who could potentially become geniuses. It takes away so much opportunity from so many and we need to put and end to it.