As an AVID (Advancement Via Individual Determination) coordinator and teacher it is my job to prepare my students to be "college bound" Well, while I was trying to put together several college tours for my students I ran into a bunch of issues that don't align with American's vision of this college readiness...
-Several of the universities refused to give a tour to middle school students
-Several would only take a group of 15 or less
I'm sorry are they not in the business of recruiting? What happened to the earlier the better?
Anyway, there's that, and then I came across this video:
I wonder if there are many more reasons why poor students don't attend elite universities.
Are they exposed to these options early on? I tried sending my students to a diverse array of universities and was either turned down by these universities because of the age group or have been told by other faculty members that "our kids probably won't go to a school like that."I have a teacher friend who showed her 1st grade EIP class colleges online and her colleagues laughed at her saying, "Not this group." Expectations play a key role.
Where are these schools often located? Princeton, NJ; Cambridge, MA; New Haven, CT...if you already come from an urban area how boring do these places sound? (j/k) But think about it, you're already being moved out of your comfort zone and far away from anything familiar, not to mention the fact that most college graduates end up staying in the city where their undergraduate school is located in, why would you go? What recruitment efforts are being put in place to make these places more attractive beyond the academic status quo?
Also, when it comes to coming from a poor family, what can be done to help the student AND the family. I had many a friend in college, working to pay their tuition and supporting family back home at the same time. This is easier to do in large urban areas, and of course near their previous residence, hence why kids usually attend college in their home states.
Lastly, influence is the greatest factor in the selection a student makes in the college they choose. It's not that poor people don't attend these elite institutions, it's that they don't come back. Perhaps if students knew individuals living in their community who may attended these schools they might be more likely to apply.