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ERIC Number: ED452755
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2001-Apr
Pages: 39
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: N/A
College Choice on an "Unlevel" Playing Field: How Low Income African American Parents Understand College Choice.
Smith, Michael J.
This study examined college choice within the African American community, focusing on how low income African American parents understand the college selection process. The parents studied were trying to help their children make a choice about what college to attend and why to choose it. Data were collected from more than 375 students, parents, and counselors from low socioeconomic schools in the Los Angeles, California area. Eleven participants were parents, ten of whom were interviewed in focus groups, with one parent interviewed individually. Parents were asked about their knowledge of colleges and the college choice process, their understanding of college costs and financing, and their perceptions of the college climate at the University of California. There was a high level of congruence between what parents said and what it was expected that they would say. Parents were concerned about affordability and thus refrained from encouraging their children to apply to many colleges. They relied heavily on school guidance personnel to help their children, because their own experiences did not help them with college selection. Their social class tended to limit their participation and to create a climate in which the students were the primary gatherers of knowledge about colleges. In these families, the children informed and educated the parents, the reverse of what happens in upper income families. Two appendixes contain the interview questions and a list of low socioeconomic status signals for students and parents. (Contains 52 references.) (SLD)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A