Using collaborations to support underrepresented students in higher education the covid-19 pandemic has exposed many socio-economic, racial and geographical inequalities. One of these inequalities is equal access to higher education, an issue that can have a profound impact throughout life. Higher education students themselves have been most affected by the pandemic in terms of their ability to stay connected with the school.
And their academic progress faces a disproportionate number of challenges in other areas. A survey of undergraduate, graduate and professional students found that low-income. And working-class students had higher rates of financial hardship, including lost wages. And more unexpected technology and living expenses than their peers. Higher-income during the pandemic.
Financial barriers are not the only barriers these students face. The lack of technology to engage in online learning is another major pain point. A number of national surveys reported that low-income students (20-30%), blacks (17-29%) and Hispanics (23-28%) and students living in rural areas (14-25%) face technological challenges. Barriers such as insufficient internet connectivity that prevents them from participating in online learning. The shift to a digital learning landscape has created a technological gap that further consolidates the socio-economic and racial gaps that exist in higher education.
Using Collaborations to Support Underrepresented Students And Considering the Long-term Effects of the Pandemic:
According to the college’s board of directors, 100,000 fewer high school students completed applications for financial aid to attend college in 2020 than the previous year. Likewise, the amount of free federal student assistance (FAFSA) applications completed by students in the 2021 class is now 9.4% behind last year. The reductions are particularly pronounced for low-income students and students of color.
- Spring enrollment of college students this year fell by 5.9% compared to spring 2020. Which represents the sharpest decline in enrollment for college students since the start of the pandemic.
- Of this group, student enrollment in Indian higher education was the hardest hit, down 13%. While enrollment of black (-8.8%) and Latino (-7.3%) students also fell.
- The institution that serves a large share of low-income and minority students in higher education – community college saw its sharpest decline, with enrollments down 11.3% from 9.5% in the fall of 2020.
- Latinx enrollments are on the rise ahead of community colleges. The pandemic, but have since plummeted to 13.7% this spring.
- Reduced community college tuition rates mean fewer low-income, first-generation, and minority students receive their degrees.
This can have long-term consequences for the future of these students. For example, digital literacy. The ability to find, evaluate, use, share and create content using technology. And the internet is now a key skill for employees. A recent report found that 80% of mid-level jobs. Those that require higher education (such as a certificate or a two-year degree), will include digital skills. Earn $7,300 more per year than those whose education dropped out after high school. Even more controversy for graduates. Who earn an average of $18,772 more each year than those who graduate.
How a Strategic Connectivity Partner Can Help You Invest in Students:
Low-income Americans struggle to gain access mainly because of the cost of monthly high-speed internet bills. Similarly, only 47% of higher education students living in rural areas have access to high-speed internet, compared to 77% in suburban areas. To connect students from major universities with rural colleges. Providing technology resources for underprivileged students can enable digital equality, which is vital to the future of u.S. Students and the u.S. Workforce and economy.
In partnership with the country’s largest online university, western governors university (WGU) provides WGU students with the connectivity, devices and infrastructure that make higher education accessible to anyone who wants it, no matter where they live.
- In collaboration with the telecommunications business school, the learning alliance, to create the next tech diversity program. With black technicians who make up only 10% of the telecommunications infrastructure industry.
- Magenta edge from t-mobile for business offers free entrepreneurship training programs. While addressing systemic barriers to the success of small black businesses.
- The purpose of the program is to help revitalize small black businesses using collaborations to support underrepresented in the united states that suffered during the covid-19 crisis.