The U.S. Collegiate Education System Is Setting Minorities Up To Fail

The U.S. Collegiate Education System Is Setting Minorities Up To Fail

I've been an undergraduate student since 1999. This is the struggle to graduate from college as a Black student.
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Lately, I've been thinking that society is set up to make the "others" fail. More specifically, the post-secondary education system.

The "others" I'm referring to are people who are not Caucasian.

I feel this way because it doesn't make sense that I haven't received my bachelor's degree — yet I've been an undergraduate student since September 1999.

I was cut off from receiving financial aid before I started my final semester of undergraduate study. Really? They waited until I was going to graduate to drop that bomb on me?? "Sorry, we don't want to help you anymore; thanks for all your financial aid you've been wasting with us all these years!"

Does anyone who is not caucasian graduate on time?

There are only 17.5% Black students at my university. 17.4% graduate from my college within six years. Yet, over 50% of Caucasians, non-resident aliens, and unknown racial identity students graduate within six years. Another surprising statistic is that only 20% of all students graduate from my college in four years. The percentage of overall graduation gets higher for five years and six years, but never over 50% of all students graduate.

So everybody is struggling to graduate, yet when they do, it's the Caucasians, non-resident aliens, and unidentified races that graduate the most. Even a little over 25% of Hispanic and Asian students graduate within six years. This compares to the only 17.4% of Blacks that graduate.

All these numbers are low, but I find the percentages for Black students to be worst of all. Do I just go to a crappy university, or are the problems with the graduation systems deeper than just one campus?

I find it hard to believe that after hour upon hour, day after day, and month after month of applying for alternate sources of financial aid that NOTHING has panned out. The very few undergraduate retaining services available haven't panned out either.

What is the purpose of continuously keeping students past the time they're supposed to be an undergraduate student? Is it really just to drain their financial aid to the max and then leave them high and dry without a credential or cent to their name? A schools' graduation rates affect their future funding and enrollment rates of future students. So the more students they graduate, the more funds they get, and more students enroll because they see that others are graduating on time.

I don't see a downside to students graduating college when they're supposed to.

I had plans. I was going to graduate, get a better and higher paying position, hopefully, pass the GRE, then start Graduate school. There's no reason to be 37 years old and still barely living from paycheck to paycheck. My life can't start 'till I get a bachelor's degree. Yet, the system is holding me back.

Is it due to my race?

I feel like I need a life coach or something. Someone to show me where and how to get ahead in life. Where can I go to improve my life? When can I arrive at my final destination instead of always trying to get there?

I'm at a crossroad.

Cover Image Credit: Bruce Mars

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Every Time I See A College Tour Group Walk By I Just Want to Scream 'It's a TRAAAPP!'

The tour guide is good - they're just a liar.
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It's officially that time of year - anywhere you walk on campus, there's bound to be a gaggle of parents and befuddled high school students winding their way through building after building. In front of them stands an overenthusiastic tour guide, spouting off statistics about the school so fast they'll make your head spin.

Unfortunately, what the tour guide says doesn't exactly line up with what goes on at the school. Oh, the things we students wish we could shout out to the parents as they pass by.

1. "You'll get sick of the dining!"

It may look like there's something new to eat every single day, but by the end of the semester, you'll be sick of everything except the things closest at home.

2. "I'm only here for the free t-shirts!"

Seriously.

3. "IT'S A TRAP!"

Seriously, part two. You get two of three things: a social life, sleep, or good grades. Whoever said you could have all three is lying.

4. "Welcome to the real world, suckers!"

It's got confrontation, taking care of yourself, and formal emails. (Which, of course, your professor will respond with 'k thnx bai' sent from their iPhone.)

5. "Say goodbye to sleep!"

There are three types of people on campus: tea drinkers, coffee drinkers, and people with energy drinks running through their veins.

6. "THE MODEL DORM IS A LIE!"

Check all of your housing options before you move in. The dorm they're showing you might be the worst housing area on campus.

7. "THE FINANCIAL AID IS A LIE!"

You're getting squat. Free tuition? Try the tune of $13k a year. Or more. Depending.

8. "The library is NOT the best study place."

Depending on your major, there are several places for you to study that aren't the library.

9. "The health center sucks!"

True fact: word through the grapevine is that someone once got antibiotics for a sprained ankle.You may as well sell that leg on the black market to cover the costs.

10. "Believe the roommate horror stories!"

All random roommates are horrible unless proven otherwise. (But be wary of everyone.)

11. "SI (student instructor) sessions are useless."

You will learn nothing . Chances are you'll end up correcting the instructor.

12. "The freshman fifteen is optional."

Some people don't gain it at all, and some people really gain it. It's up to you.

13. "You'll need a car!!"

If, for some reason you can't pay for the overpriced parking pass, find a friend who can.

14. "Hookup culture is real!"

But it's not for everyone. Just because everyone is doing it doesn't mean you have to.

15. "Campus jobs are a myth!"

Campus job? What's a campus job? Do you have work-study? No? No job for you. Have you tried the local coffee shop?

Cover Image Credit: Flickr

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