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.
158
views

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

Popular Right Now

How To Not Be A Terrible Roomie, An 18-Step Guide

Freshmen, take notes.
4593
views

Incoming Freshmen, this one is for you,

1. If your roomie is asleep – be quiet.

Don't play music out loud (use headphones), don't make phone calls and if you have to go out into the hallway or common area to make it!

2. Be polite about working late at night.

Make sure the light isn't shining near their bed so it won't be in their faces while they are trying to sleep.

3. Ask before you turn off the light.

There's a reason you have your own personal lamp.

4. Make sure you clean your side of the room.

Don't leave your clothes everywhere, empty your garbage, make your bed, and clean up your desk sometimes

5. If your roomie is studying for a hard test, don't bring friends into your room.

It's just ten times more distracting.

6. Turn your phone on Do Not Disturb at night.

This will help with the vibration noises/ringers from your phones. (I attached an example just in case you don't know how to do it).

7. Throw food out in the trash room.

You don't want the odor of old food in your room!

8. Do your laundry.

Don't let your basket overflow onto the floor.

9. If your roomie's parents are coming to visit, CLEAN YOUR SIDE.

Make a good impression!

10. Tell your roomie if you are having someone stay over - don't make it a surprise.

(I made this mistake... it's really awkward).

11. Don't take things without asking.

Even if it is as simple as food.. don't take without asking! IT'S NOT YOURS!

12. Don't talk about your roomie's personal life to other people.

You will hear things when they are talking to their parents, don't repeat it, it's rude.

13. Don't tell people who came over the night before.

This applies ties into rule number 12.

14. Share the room.

If your roomie wants to have a night with someone special, let them. They'll return the favor in the future (don't forget that).

15. Don't bring people they don't like into the room.

It's awkward.

16. If you're pre-gaming with friends, you're responsible for YOU and YOUR FRIENDS mess.

Don't leave bottles laying around - clean up!

17. Talk before changing the room around.

Don't move anything before you talk to the other person.

18. Set some rules when you first move in.

It will make everything a lot easier.

Cover Image Credit: Flickr

Related Content

Connect with a generation
of new voices.

We are students, thinkers, influencers, and communities sharing our ideas with the world. Join our platform to create and discover content that actually matters to you.

Learn more Start Creating

The Secret To Changing The World

What's small to you may be huge to someone else.

142
views

There are 7.6 billion people on our planet. 7.6 billion. Let that sink in.

It is estimated that a human has an average number of 50,000 thoughts per day.

Do the math. Carry lots of zeros.

Approximately three hundred eighty trillion thoughts are made each day. One of those thoughts can change the world. And that thought could be yours.


It's intimidating to think that we are a mere speck on this Earth. It's hard to fill the shoes of famous minds such as Steve Jobs or Mark Zuckerberg who single handedly changed the way we live our lives. However, just as anything else in life, it's all about perspective.


You can sit back feeling apathetic about the fact that it is nearly impossible to affect the lives of all 7.6 billion beings on this planet. Or you can strive to change the world for one person. At the end of the day, influencing one person is better than influencing none, and it all adds up.


The second you take a risk and change someone's life for the better, you inspire them to do the same thing for someone else. Changing the world for someone is easy, even though it sounds absolutely terrifying. Again, it's all about perspective.


Let's say you see someone out in public in a coffee shop. They seem down and like their day isn't going as planned. They are nervously searching through their wallet searching for loose change to pay for their order. You generously decide to pay.



Just like that, you just potentially changed the world.



What if that person has been struggling to find work for a few months now and they are down to their last dollars? They have a job interview that day and they really need coffee to be awake for their meeting. You were the pivotal factor that allowed them to succeed that day. To you, your kind thought and action seemed small. To them, you influenced their life for the rest of their days.



I know what you're thinking.



Sophie, you just completely made up that scenario. it's so unlikely to happen.



Alas! You are correct. However, there are 7.6 billion people on this planet. Therefore, there is a pretty high chance that someone out there in the world is living that exact situation. You just don't know it.



That's the secret to changing the world. You won't know when you did it.



It might be upsetting to think that we won't be famous like Zuckerberg or Jobs. It is difficult to grasp the thought that our altruistic thoughts and actions won't make us live a life of luxury. But at the end of the day, if you keep the idea of how influential your thoughts can be to one person salient in your mind, you will always be motivated to be kind to others.



If you don't know the meaning of "paying it forward," it's the idea that you should respond to a kind act by being kind towards someone else. I believe that nothing in life is truly altruistic, because it always feels good to help someone else. That being said, use that as encouragement to strive to change the world for someone.



As one person, it's hard to feel influential in this world. Every day we are reminded about how small we really are on this planet and it can be discouraging. I encourage you to look at the world from a new perspective. Realize that small things can make big changes.



You can make big changes. You can change the world.
Cover Image Credit:

Artem Bali from Pexels

Related Content

Facebook Comments