Young Blacks Are Three Times as Likely to Be Poor as Young Whites: The Impact on Access to Higher Education

Despite the availability of federal Pell Grants and other financial aid for low-income students, money remains a major barrier to access to higher education for millions of students nationwide. And when it comes to money for higher education, African Americans are at an extreme disadvantage compared to whites.

New data from the U.S. Census Bureau shows that 35.4 percent of all African Americans under the age of 18 are being raised in poverty. There are more than 4 million blacks under the age of 18 who live in poverty. Clearly the dream of higher education for many of these young blacks will never be met.

Less than 12 percent of whites below the age of 18 are being raised in poverty, about one third the rate for blacks.