...actually the biggest barrier for such students is coming from homes where actually getting married first THEN having kids...
<p>Unfortunately this does not at all address the problem raised in the actual report. In short, high achieving minority students are not attending the flagships, but tend to attend lower resourced universities, and are less likely to succeed.</p>
When examined directly, the answer is clear. There is no way that achievement patterns in our high schools over the past two decadeswhich show vastly higher college prep course completion rates, stronger achievement in mathematics, and higher SAT and ACT scores for low-income and minority studentscould possibly fully explain the poor and mostly worsening performance of our flagship universities. </p>
<p>Indeed, virtually every available source of data suggests that there are more studentsespecially low-income studentswho could successfully do the work in these institutions if we only tried a little harder to get them in and through.</p>
<p>Why Are Low-income and Minority Students so Underrepresented at Flagship Universities? </p>
<p>When asked why their campuses enroll and graduate so few low-income students and students of color, presidents of flagship universities often point to quality problems in the nations high schools, especially those that serve significant concentrations of low-income and minority students. Like many presidents in other colleges, they would like Americans to believe that we have a high school problem, not a college problem. Obviously, theyre not all wrong. We do have important problems in our high schools. Most of them seriously shortchange poor and minority students and result in devastating outcomes for these groups. </p>
<p>Setting aside for the moment the question of whether higher education has any culpability for that sorry state of affairs, it is important to ask the bottom line question: Are the colleges right to think that its not really about them? In other words, do achievement patterns in our high schools entirely explain access and success patterns in our flagship institutions, or could these institutions be doing more to serve the full range of students in their states? When examined directly, the answer is clear. There is no way that achievement patterns in our high schools over the past two decadeswhich show vastly higher college prep course completion rates, stronger achievement in mathematics, and higher SAT and ACT scores for low-income and minority studentscould possibly fully explain the poor and mostly worsening performance of our flagship
universities. Indeed, virtually every available source of data suggests that there are more studentsespecially low-income studentswho could successfully do the work in these institutions if we only tried a little harder to get them in and through. Lets take a look at what the data tell us. </p>
<p>The best data sources for understanding the post-secondary experiences of Americas high school
students is the National Education Longitudinal Study (NELS). In general, analyses of these databases
show large differences in the college-entry rates of high-achieving students from various economic
<p>One such analysis, summarized in Table 1 below, found college-going rates among high-achieving, low-income high school graduates to be about the same as those among the lowest achieving students from high-income families. Indeed, almost one-quarter of the highest achieving students from low-income families had not entered any college at all within two years of graduating from high school.</p>
<p>A second, more nuanced analysis of the NELS database found a similar pattern, with significant numbers of high achieving low-income students not in college a full two years after graduating from high school. But these analysts also found something equally important: that the high-achieving, low-income students who did enter college were considerably more likely than other high achievers to begin in two-year colleges, a path far less likely to result in a baccalaureate degree.</p>
<p>It turns out, though, that this stratification processwhereby high-achieving, low-income students enter less selective colleges than their high income counterpartsinvolves more than them just resigning themselves to attending two-year colleges. </p>
<p>A special analysis of the NELS database for the Education Trust shows that even the low-income students in the highest academic resource quintile (high achievement plus completion of intense college prep curriculum and AP courses) who entered four-year colleges enrolled in institutions with less status and fewer resources.</p>
<p>By virtually any standard, these students academic credentials would warrant admission to most of the top universities in the country. Yet nearly three- quarters of our countrys best and brightest high school graduates from low-income familiesthose who fell in the top quintile of a rigorous academic index attended colleges to which they could have gained admission had they simply achieved at a mediocre level.