Beyond Access

Sara Goldrick-Rab, one of a pair of Education Optimists on one of my favorite new blog feeds, has co-authored a new paper, A Federal Agenda for Promoting Student Success and Degree Completion,  published by the Center for American Progress.

While the paper starts off pessimistically enough:

Only 40 percent of beginning college students from low-income families complete a two- or four-year degree within six years. Rates of degree completion are much higher among high-income students (62 percent). Focusing on the most lucrative undergraduate degree, the baccalaureate, there is a 40 percentage point gap in completion rates between individuals from the bottom and top income quartiles. Since future economic and social success is largely predicated on holding a college degree, this low chance of college success among the poorest students perpetuates growth in income inequality.

the authors move on to solid  proposals for federal policy that could mean reallocation of resources, more substantive curriculum at the high school and college levels, and more financial support for low-income college students.

(And while you’re on their blog, check out their recent Musical Elective of the Week, Great Big Sea, for whom I have tickets in October …)

4 thoughts on “Beyond Access

  1. Logan August 28, 2008 / 1:18 pm

    I don’t think that because a student/s are poor is the reason as to why they are finishing up in 6 years opposed to 4 years. I think it has to do with the way the classes are being taken, and if they are taken seriously by that student. For example a student can be fairly intelligent but only choose to take2 or 3 classes as to the full time schedule or 4 classes or more. The 4 year degree is only if a student goes full time which I said above is usually 12 hours of 4 class. Sometimes in college 4 classes or more is a lot of stress and a lot to take on. Especially if that student has other activities such as being in the school band, or fraternity/sorority. These other college activities take up time that they could be taking other classes. I am not against the other activities, I think they are a great thing for young students, but I do not believe that it is always because of their money situation.

  2. Jacob September 3, 2008 / 6:22 am

    Going to college and getting an education is an oppouurtunity that is earned by students. Key word opportunity. It is the students responsibilty to take full advantage of that opportunity. Not the gov’t to make it easier for specific student that may have grown up in a economically ineffecient home. In this day in age there are too many resources that can be taken advantage of to be successful in college. Any student who doesn’t make it through a ba or an aa in 6 years is to blame not the federal gov’t.

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