By Victor Ochieng
When you see that, it immediately gives the impression of a high end institution with all the facilities that one would need in a college.
The enrolment dean is a Latino who hails from a poor financial background; in fact, she’s the first member of her family to receive a college education.
The college’s Vice President of Enrollment and Student Success, Angel B. Perez, is particularly sympathetic of students hailing from poor backgrounds. He understands the benefits that such students would accrue from the institution’s resources and conducive learning environment. Paying for the school fees in this liberal arts institution isn’t cheap though. It runs to the tune of slightly less that $64,000 per year.
Although he would love to admit more students, Perez says he’s limited to the resources available for that particular institution. Though there are many students who would like to join the college, the capacity of the school and the available resources keep them away.
“Do we all want more low-income students? Sure, but we would go into financial ruin,’’ Pérez recently told Jon Marcus of The Hechinger Report.
This truth paints a clear picture as to why many students from poor backgrounds never make it to college even when they’re bright enough and would really like to attend. The same findings were concluded by a recent Divided We Lean project report.
A team from Black Enterprise recently visited several public colleges, dug deep into the available data, conducted interviews with experts and unearthed several ways through which children from poor economic backgrounds are left behind, with some of the findings presenting disturbing realities.
A typical example is the case of flagship public universities, where only 5% of the student body is black, yet this is happening 50 years after the Voting Rights Act was passed and the Supreme Court ruling in Brown vs. Board of Education in which the court declared unconstitutional any laws that promote segregation.
Research carried out by Black Enterprise revealed that the existing education system is working against poor students, including those drawn from Latino and African-American backgrounds. The system relegates poor students to schools with nominal graduation rates and limited resources. Sadly, better colleges are occupied by wealthy students whose scores are generally mediocre.