The Huge Racial Poverty Gap is a Major Obstacle for College-Age African Americans:
For a four-person family with an income of only $20,000, a college education for their children is an impossibility unless they can receive substantial financial aid for most if not all of the cost of college. Remarkably, this four-person family with a $20,000 income is not even classified as poor by the federal government. In 2004 the poverty threshold for a four-person family in the United States was $19,307.
Blacks are far more likely than whites to have incomes that fall below the poverty threshold. In 2004, 23.7 percent of all African Americans living in family groups of two or more were classified as poor. This was 3.6 times the rate for whites. For black children under the age of 18, 33.7 percent were poor in 2004. This was 3.4 times the rate for white children, which stood at 9.9 percent last year.