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How low income black and Hispanic achievers get to the best colleges.

How College preparatory classes, Prep for Prep Program, Posse Scholars program and Need based financial aid, enable low income Black and Hispanic achievers access the best colleges.

The biggest majority of black and Hispanic students attend the less selective regional state institutions, community colleges, technical colleges and historically black colleges and universities.

Some of the factors contributing to this is because most black families cannot afford to live in neighborhoods with high property values and well financed schools in these neighborhoods. They mostly live in poorer areas with less financed schools that have fewer advance placement courses and less experienced teachers.

Low income black and hispanic students are not usually able to gain access to the best, highly selective and usually high cost private colleges. However, there are some programs that help high achieving black students gain access to these elite schools and colleges.

Low income but high achieving students are more likely not to apply to elite colleges even when they have a chance of getting in and getting financial aid. Research has shown that while someone's social economic status does not determine how they perform once admitted in a highly selective college, it shaped the process that prepared them to start the application process.

If your parents have low education, they are not able to provide key information to help you prepare and improve your chances for college admission e.g. hiring private tutor, taking college preparatory classes etc. A parents income is also a determinant in whether a child will attend college. Children of people with lower income usually don't attend college.

Therefore financial aid awarded to students is very important in helping low income students go to college and complete it.

Below are the criteria that one has to meet to be qualified as a high achieving student.

   Earned cumulative grade point averages (GPAs) above 3.0;
   Have long record of leadership and engagement in multiple student organizations;
   Have built relationships with campus administrators and faculty outside the classroom;
   Participated in educational experiences (e.g. study abroad, internships research programs);
   Earned merit-based scholarships due to college achievements.

The main things that helped these black high achieving students gain access to elite expensive and highly selective colleges include:

College Preparatory Classes in high school.

Most of the students were exposed to pre college programs when they were in middle and high school.

Most of the students did not attend normal public schools, but attended Magnet Schools that emphasize particular academic specialties. e.g. science, arts etc. These schools promoted a strong college going culture in their students.

In most cases, these Magnet schools had competitive admission criteria meaning they admitted students most likely to succeed.

Prep for Prep Program

There is a program called Prep for Prep whose mission is to identify and nurture students from disadvantaged backgrounds and help them attend independent schools in New York and other private schools in the Northeast. These private schools prepared these low income but high achieving students to gain access to highly selective colleges.

Posse Scholars program.

Many liberal arts colleges have established formal relationships with the Posse Scholars program. This program offers scholarship for high achieving black students and other forms of aid to cover for other cost of attendance.

The Posse foundation also prepared the students for college life by discovering and celebrating the student's talents prior to college. They also sent them to colleges which admitted students from similar social economic backgrounds.

Need-Based Financial Aid by colleges.

Some expensive and highly selective colleges like Harvard and Penn State university have need based financial aid programs that enables students to attend college for free if their parents make less than a certain minimum amount of money.

This is very helpful for students who would otherwise never been able to afford college or would be left with huge student loans.

All these programs have been very helpful for low income black and hispanic students who are able to attend elite and highly selective colleges that they otherwise would not have been able to gain entry to.


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