The Princeton University Hidden Minority Council launched their second round of their photo campaign. Their campaign is meant to spearhead discussion about low-income and first-generation college students.
November 7, 2014: Interview with ‘Poor Teeth’ Writer Sarah Smarsh on Class and Journalism
Really great interview with Sarah Smarsh, in which she offers insight into the way media frames poor people.
November 20, 2014: First generation summit helps students claim their stories
The University of Florida recently held a first generation summit aimed at helping students learn how to claim and tell their stories. There are so many particularities about the college experience and learning how to share that with others in an honest way is an important undertaking.
The president of Grinnell College argues that need-blind admissions do not necessarily lead to a socioeconomically diverse student body. Elite college admissions are largely shaped to reward students that already have the most advantages, which disadvantages low-income students without access to certain resources. Considering need during admissions might actually allow admissions officers to better evaluate students based on the resources allotted to them and not based on the resources they just didn’t have available to them.
A few faculty and staff of the City College of New York stress the importance of investing in minority-serving colleges. Access initiatives lately have largely emphasized the need to send more low-income students to elite colleges. Elite colleges are idealized as the solutions for students. However, this fails to address the larger problem of lack of investment in many other institutions that already serve a large percentage of minority students. Why not focus on the potential instead of opting for the simplistic solution of funneling low-income students into a set number of elite schools?
Yesenia Arroyo, a student at Princeton, offers a critique of the notion that students shouldn’t pursue a high-paying job after graduation because it hurts the middle class. As a low-income first-generation student, Arroyo says that her education is largely motivated by the possibility of helping her family reach financial stability. While personal fulfillment is often emphasized in educational pursuit, Arroyo says that some students don’t have the luxury of making their education about only themselves.
Across the country, low-income students are gaining momentum at different elite colleges. It’s no coincidence that it’s happening now, as efforts to get low-income students into top colleges increase. Questbridge and Leadership Enterprise for a Diverse America (LEDA) are just two of the organizations helping to get students to Princeton. With a bigger population, common issues are more likely to come to light.
In the last academic year, several articles focusing on low-income and first-generation students were published in the Princeton school newspaper. The articles ranged from firsthand accounts from students to an analysis on socioeconomic diversity from a professor.
While each of the students uniquely recalled their upbringing and journey to Princeton, they each had one thing in common: the social and economic barriers they faced once on campus.