According to the recently released, congressionally mandated report, “Higher Education: Gaps In Access and Persistence Study,” a myriad of socio-economic factors — persistent poverty, lack of resources and access to educational support systems — continue to hinder the rate in which minorities enter higher education.
Although short on solutions, the 329-page report — co-authored by the National Center for Education Statistics and the American Institutes for Research; and authorized by the United States Department of Education — breaks down 2010 student data (the last year in which a full data set is available) and factored in race, income, region and academic histories and then distilled that info into its findings. In all, 46 unique indicators were used in crafting the report.
“In 2010, some 21 percent of children under age 18 were living in poverty, and the poverty rate for children living with a female parent with no spouse present was 44 percent. Also, in 2010, some 11.8 million children ages 5 to 17 — about 22 percent of the school-age population — spoke a language other than English at home, with 2.7 million speaking English with difficulty,” read the report’s executive summary.
“In 2010, about 11 percent of children between the ages of 6 and 18 lived in a household where neither parent had earned at least a high school credential, either a diploma or an equivalency credential such as a General Educational Development certificate. The percentage of children with parents who had not earned a high school credential was 11 percent for both males and females.”