The voice of De Anza since 1967.

La Voz News

The voice of De Anza since 1967.

La Voz News

The voice of De Anza since 1967.

La Voz News

    Elite colleges fail to attract promising poor

    The nation’s most prestigious universities proudly boast deep pools of diversity, yet according to a recent study, tens of thousands of financially-challenged prospective students will not attend these schools simply because they never dreamt of applying.

    The study suggests that, had they applied, many of our fellow De Anza College students could be expanding their mental faculties at the likes of Stanford, Harvard, Princeton or Yale – without spending an additional dime.

    Indeed, New York Times reporting reveals that a student from a low-income family would pay only $1,300 per year to attend Harvard, including room, board, tuition and fees.  Other flagship institutions provide generous financial aid to families making under $250,000 per year and give a free ride to any student whose family makes less than $80,000.

    The advantages of top-rate universities are well known: abundant resources, higher graduation rates, and far greater career opportunities, to name a few.

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    Prestigious universities can potentially provide poor families an express elevator up the rungs of social mobility, the foundational concept of the American Dream.

    Yet at this time of expanding wealth inequality, elite schools are ignoring the bottom income quartile, and thereby implicitly perpetuating our country’s crippling wealth divide, according to a study conducted by Stanford and Harvard Universities.

    Ironically, it does not take a higher degree to fix this problem.

    But it does require a change in how colleges reach out to high-achieving underrepresented students, including sending out detailed information packets to low income students with coupons that wave college application fees – a strategy known to increase application rates by approximately 50 percent, according to the New York Times.

    But this is still not enough.

    Instructors at De Anza should encourage students to apply to a variety of top-tier univeristies as well as public institutions; and counselors should better explain the wide array of options to all, and not simply direct students to

    Yet at the end of the day, as students, the responsibility lies upon our shoulders.

    We must have faith in our own academic achievements and educate ourselves on the different potential opportunities available from schools both public and private.

    We must take our destiny into our own hands, because it is not simply the educational opportunity of one student at stake – the future weave of the nation’s fabric depends on it.

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