ERIC Number: ED467615
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2002
Reference Count: N/A
The Access Challenge: Rethinking the Causes of the New Inequality. Policy Issue Report.
St. John, Edward P.
Since 1980, the gap in college participation rates between low-income and high-income students and between minorities and whites has widened substantially, creating new inequality in college access. During this period, the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) conducted numerous studies of the impact of academic participation on access to higher education, but the NCES overlooked the impact of reductions in federal need-based grants on the widening gap in postsecondary opportunity. This paper reviews trends related to financial access, develops a conceptual model that incorporates both the academic and economic explanations for access, and uses the model to reexamine the NCES analyses of enrollment behavior by college-qualified students in the high school class of 1992. The reexamination reveals that finances exerted a much more substantial influence on creating the new inequality. NCES ignored the effects of finances when analyzing the cause of disparity in college access. More than one million college-qualified, low-income students were denied financial access in the 1990s. Restoring federal need-based grants to their 1980 level is a necessary first step toward equalizing the opportunity for college-qualified high school graduates. (Contains 4 tables, 8 figures, and 69 references.) (Author/SLD)
Descriptors: Access to Education, Disadvantaged Youth, Economic Factors, Enrollment, Equal Education, Higher Education, Low Income Groups, Models, Paying for College, Student Financial Aid, Student Participation
For full text: http://www.indiana.edu/~iepc/policyissue200201.pdf.
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: Indiana Univ., Bloomington. Education Policy Center.