low income kids graduate

Welcome back to UD Daily News. On November 18th, Michael Bloomberg announced his $1.8 billion donations to John Hopkins University to help low-income students apply for a spot at the school. According to Quartz, Bloomberg argues that cost is the biggest obstacle in preventing students from low-income families to go to college.

Cost is only part of the problem. Economists from The National Bureau of Economic Research argue that lack of confidence and the financial aid uncertainty if they do get accepted, are the biggest obstacles in preventing low-income students from applying to elite universities.

Most elite universities already offer financial help to those in need. Yet, Quartz reports that “children with parents in the top 1% for income are 66 times more likely to attend an elite college than children with parents in the bottom 20%.”

In addition, a study in 2002 discovered that only 25% of low-income students graduated from college. Despite being academically strong, they were still much less likely to graduate college in comparison to those from high socioeconomic backgrounds.

According to Quartz, economists later found that “lower-income students tend to doubt their abilities after a semester of bad grades.” Many tend to struggle in their first semester of college or first year of college. However, parents who’ve been through the experience themselves can encourage their children compared to first-generation college-goers who bear the emotional burden themselves. The latter are more likely to drop out if they had a rough first semester.

What do you think of Bloomberg’s investment? Do you think it’s helpful or is the money better spent elsewhere? Also, what struggles are you facing or have faced in your college life?