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Low Income Student Barriers
Transcript of Low Income Student Barriers
Barriers to Success
How is "Low-income" defined?
“the term ‘low-income individual’ means an individual whose family's taxable income for the preceding year did not exceed 150 percent of the poverty level amount”
U.S. Dept. Education, 2014
“approximately $20,000 for a family of four constitutes poverty”
Gupton, Castelo-Rodriguez, Martinez, & Quintanar, 2009
According to the President's
Call to Action:
Rising demand for a college educated workforce.
Number of jobs requiring postsecondary education has doubled over the last 40 years.
Education provides a path to the middle class.
Advancing our country’s economy and reflecting the values of our collective society.
The White House, 2014
History and Trends
Low-income students lack guidance and support needed to:
Prepare for college
Apply to the best-fit schools
Apply for financial aid
Enroll and persist in their studies
Introduction & History
50% of high-income family members vs. 10% of low-income family members have a bachelor's degree by age 25.
Low-income students are more likely to be academically under matched compared to high-income peers.
The White House, 2014
Grew up in a single parent household.
Mother is a high school graduate and works at a minimum wage blue-collar job.
Has three younger siblings.
Commutes 45 minutes to & from school.
Works an after school job at a neighborhood grocery store.
Both parents are college educated and employed at white-collar jobs.
Has one older brother, currently a first-year student at a University.
Given a car on his 16th birthday & drives himself to school, 10 minutes away.
Participates in after school clubs and athletics.
Major educational access barriers for low income students generally fall into one of three categories:
Life Experiences & Testing
Regardless of background, standardized testing is uniform in nature and rarely takes into account the lack of life experiences that are foundational to middle and upper class students.
Sample test question:
Which of these musical instruments are most like a piano?
a) Xylophone b) viola c) harpsichord d) lute
(Gustafson, 2002, pg. 61)
Uneducated Parents/Filling out financial aid forms
Student/Family – Positive/Negative; High vs. Low.
Educators – The Hidden Curriculum/ Cultural biases.
Higher Ed – Assumed assimilation; Environment favors dominant culture/vocabulary.
Basic Needs –Food, housing, medical
Low Levels of Engagement
Working more hours
Less disposable income
Low Levels of
Less secondary prep
Less social encouragement
Stunts social mobility
First Year Experience (FYE) programs
Institutional culture of success
Does WMU Offer?
Seita Scholars Program
College Assistance Migrant Program (CAMP)
Present programs while students are still in high school.
Informing students about scholarship opportunities both inside and outside of the school.
Talk to them about college early on.
Know the students.
Raise awareness of typical and possible barriers for low-income students.
Illustrate the contrast between low-income and higher-income students.
Provide samples of best practices and recommendations for student affairs professionals.
(Stuber, 2009; Walpole, 2003)
(Stuber, 2009; Walpole, 2003)
(Engle & Lynch, 2011; Muraskin et al., 2004)
Best practices at WMU
College Assistance Migrant Program. (2013). Retrieved from http://www.wmich.edu/camp/
Conley, P. A., & Hamlin, M. L. (2009). Justice-learning: Exploring the efficacy with low-income, first-generation college students. Michigan Journal of Community Service Learning, 16(1), 47-58. Retrieved from http://ginsberg.umich.edu/mjcsl/
Engle, J., & Lynch, M. (2011). Demography is not destiny: What colleges and universities can do to improve persistence among low-income students. In A. Kezar (Ed.), Recognizing and serving low-income students in higher education: an examination of institutional policies, practices, and culture (pp. 161-174). New York, NY: Routledge.
Engle, J. & O’Brien, C. (2007). Demography is not destiny: Increasing the graduation rates of low-income college students at large public universities. The Pell Institute. Retrieved from http://files.eric.ed.gov/fulltext/ED497044.pdf
Gupton, J. T., Castelo-Rodriguez, C., Martinez, D. A., and Quintanar, I. (2009). Creating a pipeline to engage low-income, first generation college students. In S. R. Harper & S. J. Quaye (Eds.), Student engagement in higher education (pp. 243-260). New York, NY: Routledge.
Gustafson, J. (2002). Missing the mark for low-SES students. Kappa Delta Pi Record, 38(2), 60-63. doi:10.1080/00228958.2002.10516343
Muraskin, L., Lee, J., Wilner, A., & Swail, W.S. (2004). Raising the graduation rates of low-income college students. Retrieved from http://www.pellinstitute.org/downloads/publications-Raising_the_Graduation_Rates_December_2004.pdf
The Seita Scholarship. (2011). Retrieved from http://wmich.edu/fosteringsuccess/About/scholarship.html
Stuber, J. M. (2009). Class, culture, and participation in the collegiate extra‐curriculum. Sociological Forum, 24(4), 877-900. doi:0.1111/j.1573-7861.2009.01140.x
TRIO Student Success Program. (2013). Retrieved from http://www.wmich.edu/ssp/
U.S. Department of Education. (2014). Office of Post-Secondary Education. Retrieved from http://www2.ed.gov/about/offices/list/ope/trio/incomelevels.html
Walpole, M. (2003). Socioeconomic status and college: How SES affects college experiences and outcomes. The Review of Higher Education, 27(1), 45-73. doi:10.1353/rhe.2003.0044
The White House, Executive Office of the President, Office of the Press Secretary. (2014b). Increasing college opportunity for low-income students: Promising models and a call to action. Retrieved from http://www.whitehouse.gov/sites/default/files/docs/white_house_report_on_increasing_college_opportunity_for_low-income_students_1-16-2014_final.pdf
College Assistance Migrant Program (2013)
Conley, P. A., & Hamlin, M. L. (2009)
Engle, J., & Lynch, M. (2011)
Engle, J. & O’Brien, C. (2007)
Gupton, J. T., Castelo-Rodriguez, C., Martinez, D. A., and Quintanar, I. (2009)
Gustafson, J. (2002)
Muraskin, L., Lee, J., Wilner, A., & Swail, W.S. (2004)
The Seita Scholarship (2011)
Stuber, J. M. (2009)
TRIO Student Success Program (2013)
U.S. Department of Education. (2014)
Walpole, M. (2003)
The White House, Executive Office of the President, Office of the Press Secretary (2014b)