Multiple Barriers Remain in Efforts to Level the Field in the College Admissions Process

A new study by the Art & Science Group finds that despite the fact that many barriers to admission to college have been removed, Black students are still at a distinct disadvantage in navigating the admissions process compared to their White peers.

More than two thirds of Whites received help in making their college choice from friends and family members. Only 38 percent of Black students reported receiving such help. Only 27 percent of Black students reported visiting the campus of the school they were applying to, compared to 38 percent of White students. White students on average consider applying to more colleges and universities than do Black students.

“College admissions offices still struggle to level the playing field for students within a system in which various forms of privilege —racial and ethnic, financial, access to social networks, family’s educational aspirations – confer advantages on some groups at the expense of others,” the authors state in the instruction to the report. “Privilege among White prospective students and those with socioeconomic advantages bring social capital that benefits them in navigating the college application process” and gives them “the ability to be more knowledgable, selective, and discerning about their college preferences.”

The full report, Social Capital and College Choice: The Impact of Privilege on the College Selection Process, may be viewed here.

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