Mourn the Passing of Our Potential

Posted by on Mar 12, 2014 in Bridging and Awareness | Comments Off on Mourn the Passing of Our Potential

mourn the passingFamily income has always remained one of the main factors affecting academic achievement. Not only are low-income families at a disadvantage in terms of accessing high quality education, their children also tends to be the most underrepresented in educational programs. This results to a high percentage of youth who are not able to even grasp the chance to develop to their fullest potential.

While many envision education as the absolute equalizer, this idea has rather become a myth than a reality today. As can be observed, there is substantial difference in achievement and cognitive performance between the rich and the poor. This does not only contribute to the growing stratification in who goes to and finishes college but also serve to further perpetuate the disparity between the rich and the poor.

One prime cause of the youth being unable to reap the most of their capabilities is opting out on college education. There are even high-achieving students who choose to leave out the experience of discovering countless resources and bright peers in the illustrious facilities of colleges.

Initially, you will be quick to think that it’s because their families cannot afford the advanced education and requirements. Although such is true to some extent, there are still many elite colleges who would love to offer free education to top undergraduate achievers under the impression that high school achievers from financially-deprived families are often the most hardworking and experienced youths out there.

So why don’t poorer top students give themselves a chance to hold acceptance letters from elite institutions?

  • Insufficient guidance from public high schools

Other than the issue of financial capability of the families of students, there’s also the issue concerning the counseling capacity of public high schools. Usually, students obtain information about in-state colleges from their respective counseling offices. However, with the student population of public schools, counselors are almost always overstretched. Scheduling for one-on-one meetings usually comes a challenge and even when a student does get one, he or she still cannot be assured of being suggested refined college options. All too often, counselors remain uninformed, with some even steering students away from the option of studying in elite institutions.

  • Insufficient guidance from family

Without adequate school counseling, students then subsequently consult with their families. But family guidance also varies greatly by social class. Families where nobody has ever attended college before tend to view all college degrees and educational institutions as equal.

  • Lack of confidence

A lot of top students who came from poor families fears studying at prestigious universities because of low confidence. Common concerns include top colleges being too academic or too intense that they won’t anymore have time to enjoy their social life. For others, distance is the reason, with majority elite institutions being out-of-state.

  • Clueless about financial aid

Because of the lack of access to information, many students remain clueless about existing financial aids offered by good universities. All too common are families who would have qualified for assistance but were misinformed that they didn’t anymore consider it an option.

What can be done?

For starters, institutions should at least ensure that the students and their families are given the necessary tools to stay informed college consumers. The fact that there is a need-based financial assistance designed specifically for the families across the socioeconomic spectrum should be made widespread.

Although there are organizations, colleges and initiatives pursuing good educational assistance strategies, the United States in general has yet to assume a more systematic approach. Unless this is done, students who might have had bright futures will remain slipping through cracks.