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Academic preparation from elementary to high school affects college disparity

A study observed that among race and gender these disparities are even greater.

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A Brookings Institution new research found that differences in academic preparation during elementary and secondary school can influence the large racial, gender and socioeconomic disparities in U.S. college enrollment rates. 

Higher Ed Dive explained that researchers found steep divides in college-going rates between students with higher and lower socioeconomic status. Of students in the top quintile for socioeconomic status, 88.9% attended college, compared to just 51.2% of students in the bottom quintile — leaving a nearly 38% gap. 

Among students with similar academic preparation, the divide between those two socioeconomic groups was only 11%. 

The study pointed out that while racial enrollment gaps are smaller or reversed among students with similar academic preparation, a student’s opportunities to learn also depend on their family’s resources. Considering the history of some immigrant groups in the country, the socioeconomic status and the college enrollment outcomes vary across each racial group. 

While Hispanic students are most likely to be in the bottom quintile of the socioeconomic status, 38%; Asians students are most likely to be in the top quintile, 37%, and white, 29%.  

The almost same pattern follows enrollment in college. Asian students are the most likely to enroll in any college, 83%, followed by white, 72%. Hispanic students, 63%, and Black students, 62%, are the least likely to enroll. The groups more likely to enroll in college also have stronger academic preparation in high school across all the measures, according to the Brooking Institution’s study.

To read other information about the research, click here

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