The presence of poor students in the universities grows

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The presence of poor students in the universities grows Students walk on the campus of the University of California at Los Angeles (UCLA) in Los Angeles, California (USA). EFE / Archive

 In the country’s colleges and universities, the proportion of students coming from poor families has increased in the last two decades, including a large minority, especially Hispanics, according to a study released today by the Pew research center.

The report highlights that the increase in students from less affluent families is even more noticeable in the less selective institutions, instead of the more elite study centers.

“Almost all of the increase in the student population at the colleges and universities level is due to students from low-income families,” said Richard Fry, Pew’s chief economist, an independent, non-partisan think-tank based in Washington.

“Nearly 47 percent of students in colleges and universities are minority, and Hispanics comprise the largest group that contributes to this growth,” the expert added.

“In 1996, Hispanics were 9.5 percent of students and are now 19 percent,” said the researcher.

The team headed by Fry analyzed the trends of the last two decades in the enrollment of students in two-year colleges, and in four-year colleges, taking into account both the socioeconomic level of the students and the degree of selectivity of the students. institutions.

“There are more students who participate in higher education (post secondary), but the highest growth occurs in less selective institutions and private schools,” said Fry.

In the institutions analyzed by Pew, between 1996 and 2016, the proportion of poor or minority students and those under 23 years of age rose from 12 percent to 20 percent.

But this growth has not been the same: in very selective institutions, the proportion of these students from the most disadvantaged families rose from just 10 to 13 per cent, while it grew from 14 to 25 per cent in the least stringent colleges and universities. Entry requirements.

Likewise, the proportion of “non-white” students in all institutions increased from 29 to 47 percent, with an increase from 28 to 44 percent in the most selective and expensive colleges and universities, and went up from 27 to 48 percent in the less selective and more affordable institutions.

“The total number of students in colleges and universities grew from 16.7 million in the 1995-1996 school year to about 20 million in the 2015-2016 school year, to which the most recent data correspond,” the study said. .

“Among those enrolled in the 2015-2016 period, 16.7 percent were non-whites, and 31 percent were poor, compared to 29 percent and 21 percent, respectively, 20 years earlier,” he added.

The increase in the share of minority students coincides with a relatively large increase in the enrollment of Hispanics, whose proportion has doubled from 6 percent in 1996 to 16 percent in 2016.

“Hispanic students are now the largest minority in less selective universities, four years old, surpassing the proportion of black students, and they are on a par with the enrollment of moderately selective institutions,” said Fry. EFEUSA) .-

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