DAILY TARHEEL: Report shows low-income students have stagnant university enrollment

Career College Central Summary:

  • A new report from the Pell Institute, Indicators of Higher Education Equity in the United States, highlights the socioeconomic disparities in higher education over a 45-year period.
  • Staff writer Joe Martin spoke with Margaret Cahalan, one of the authors of the report, about what might be causing the stunted enrollment of low-income students in colleges and universities.
  • Daily Tar Heel: What is the purpose of this report?
  • Margaret Calahan: The first one was to really provide a tool, whereby, those of us that are interested in higher education equity issues could do a self-assessment. We have national goals and core values of peoples’ access to education within our country. So this was looking at the higher-ed level of, 'How well are we doing in this area?'
  • And then, the second one I think was a purpose to really initiate sort of a sheer dialogue among people who were interested to search for solutions.
  • DTH: What would you say is the main conclusion that you found?
  • MC: One of the main conclusions is that there are great inequalities of peoples’ chances of getting or entering post-secondary (education), where they will go and whether they will get a bachelor’s degree — depending upon their family’s income situation. And that, for some of these indicators, they are getting worse over time in the sense that while there has been an increase among all groups within our population in entering post-secondary (education) … those in the lowest quartile (of income) have had little movement.

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