In Higher Education Spending, Learners of Color, Are Shortchanged
There is rising evidence that students of color are being underserved in higher education. According to research, the disparity in spending on students of color against white students at two- and four-year public colleges is more than $1,000 per learner. This merely serves to keep learners of color oppressed and disadvantaged in terms of educational and employment prospects, and the cycle continues to the next generation of learners. Here are a few of the major reasons why students of color receive much less financial assistance than their white counterparts.
- More students of color attend schools with lower spending.
A disproportionate number of students of color attend two- and four-year institutions with weaker admissions standards. Even in more diverse states, white students outnumber students of color at more prestigious four-year universities. This is due, in part, to the fact that students of color confront the same disadvantages in elementary and secondary school: they lack access to high-quality educational resources, and more money is invested in their white counterparts. These obstacles make it harder for students of color to compete for college admissions.
- Less money is being spent by public colleges to educate students of color.
When students of color attend universities that receive less funding, they receive less money for their education than their white peers, even when they attend the same schools. Furthermore, students of color enrolled in institutions where the overwhelming majority of students are white face a large disparity in the amount spent on their education. There is a disparity of almost $1,000 per learner spent on white learners versus black and Latinx learners.
- The total amount spent on education is minimal.
The disparity in spending between white and non-white students isn’t the only barrier that students of color confront when it comes to school funding. A third issue is that, even in jurisdictions where there is no large spending disparity between white and minority students, overall education spending is low. The state of Louisiana, for example, has a smaller disparity in spending between races, but the overall dollar amount spent on education is much lower than the national average.
When assessing the future impact on learners, spending gaps and overall education spending are important. According to studies, a 10% increase in college spending can result in an additional 55 degrees from a four-year university. That’s 55 more students whose lives could be drastically changed if they receive a degree and become competitive in the working world. This also expands opportunities for their children and the following generation. Changes like these can have a long-term impact on students and the future of education. These studies demonstrate how reducing the educational spending gap between white and non-white learners, as well as boosting overall spending, can have a significant impact on educational equity.