Report Details College Choice Process For Black Students
A new report highlights the unique information needs of Black students applying to college and offers suggestions on how schools and school districts can meet those needs.
Released by the National Association for College Admission Counseling (NACAC), the study seeks to improve information delivery about postsecondary options for Black students and increase college access for these students.
Dr. Bradford R. MacGowan, career center director at Newton North High School in Newton, Mass., conducted the research with the goal of developing a model of the college choice process for Black students “designed to help college admissions professionals change opportunity structures in order to facilitate Black students’ transition to higher education.”
Among the report’s findings:
• Parental influence: Parental expectations and support for their children’s education exerted a stronger influence on the student’s entry into college than whether a parent had earned a college degree. The study recommends that early awareness and college outreach programs for underrepresented students must include parental involvement.
• Supportive School Climate: A supportive school environment is a critical component of the college choice process. However, minority students referenced less-than-supportive school environments and low expectations. The report stresses the importance of providing awareness of, and support for, the entire range of postsecondary options for all students.
• College Cost: The cost of college, the availability of financial aid and the process of applying for financial aid are barriers in the college choice process for Black students. The report recommends that financial aid counseling be made more widely available to underserved students, and that the FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) be simplified to ensure maximum participation.
• Awareness of HBCUs: Many educators are under-informed about historically Black colleges and the opportunities they afford to students. The report recommends that schools and school districts, as well as state and federal governments, provide more resources to help distribute information about opportunities that HBCUs provide to underserved students.
For more information, visit the National Association for College Admission Counseling Web site at
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