On July 15th, 2012, The Center for Education Policy Analysis at Stanford University released a report detailing enrollment patterns at highly selective colleges with respect to race and income. The finding in the report were that Black, Hispanic and students from low-income families were dramatically underrepresented in the enrollment at our nation's selective colleges.
In December 2012, another report was released by The National Bureau of Economic Research showing that a large number--probably the vast majority--of very high-achieving students from low-income families do not even apply to a selective college or university.
The main cause of this disparity is due, in part, to the lack of preparedness students and families from underrepresented ethnic and socioeconomic backgrounds have for the application process to highly selective colleges and universities. Often, these students and families do not have access to the same resources as their counterparts to best prepare them for this process. Most often, these students can be found attending public schools with staff that:
1) do not have the appropriate resources to educate them;
2) are not equipped with the knowledge base and/or connections to provide them with the appropriate information; or
3) do not have the bandwidth to dedicate the time to support them in this endeavor.
Also, these students lack the appropriate support from their families because their parents:
1) did not attend a highly selective college or university;
2) have little to no post-secondary education; or
3) are not equipped to assist the studetns in finding the proper resources and support.