Growing up, I have always known that I was a victim of educational inequality to some extent, but it was not until I was applying for college that I realized how much of a victim I truly was.
Educational inequality is the unequal distribution of academic resources such as school finances, quality teachers, books, technologies, and the list goes on, to socially excluded communities. If you were a victim of educational inequality and marginalization, it merely means that at one point you were at a disadvantage and it can and will persist in college.
Children are disadvantaged due to their parents' class, finances, education demographics and much more all before they are even in kindergarten. Often, children who start behind are unable to make up the ground they lost and stay behind in life.
Although I was fortunate enough to make up the ground that was taken from me, you could still say that I am behind in some areas. Children who are financially disadvantaged are unable to obtain resources to help make up lost ground, take the SAT, apply for college, or even attend college at all while other children are disadvantaged due to lack of information offered to them.
Nonetheless, it is evident that there is a severe issue with educational inequality and marginalization in the US.
The naïve 18-year-old me thought I was going to escape that bias that I have been facing the entire duration of my academic career once it was time to go to college and boy, was I wrong. Even though there has been an increase in access to higher education, studies have still shown that students from disadvantaged or non-academic family backgrounds are still being underrepresented in colleges.
Disadvantaged students are being underrepresented in colleges for several reasons, but one of the driving factors is the lack of knowledge and information that I mentioned previously.
Studies have shown that supplying the basic information to disadvantaged students could increase the number of these students applying to more colleges substantially. Not only are the students being underrepresented in college, but continue to be disadvantaged when attending colleges that perpetuate class divides.
When you think about the reason we go to college, it is to even out the playing field. Attending college is suppose to lead to equal opportunities but it cannot if these selective or "top tier" colleges are purposely not reaching out to disadvantaged students. Instead, colleges are only reinforcing social inequalities and educational inequality, keeping those who are behind, behind. These disadvantaged students who do continue their education in colleges are still not offered the same college experience as those who have not faced educational inequality.
Children are currently being limited to lesser educations at no fault of their own, for several reasons. We should all care about educational inequality and marginalization because children deserve a chance to be the best version of themselves.
We college students deserve an opportunity to learn and get ahead in life without fear of student loan debt or anything else of that matter.