Student Resources

Academic success for college students correlates closely and directly to student resources. As student resources decline, academic performance declines (Payne 87). This is an important concept to grasp if higher education is to be a leveler or equalizer in society, because students from upper SES backgrounds routinely come to college with more resources than students from lower SES backgrounds. Be definition they have greater financial support, more stability via higher levels of home ownership and lower levels of divorce, greater support for college attendance because of education levels, and more. And not only do they come to college with more resources, but they also tend to attend colleges and universities with greater resources for success–better facilities, more private aid, deeper alumni connections, higher quality library collections, more expansive computing resources, and more. This often mean that colleges who serve lower SES students are serving students that have resource inequities at two levels. Their personal resources are lesser and their college provided resources are often lesser than the resources available to their higher level SES counterparts. 

This has always felt like the same old “separate but equal” problem Brown v. Board of Education was supposed to address.  

Q: Do you know of anyone working to rectify this? How do you recommend we approach this issues? What strengths do lower SES students bring that we can leverage for success?

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2 Responses to Student Resources

  1. Lynn Serwin says:

    I think that SES students bring with them a desire to learn that is embedded deeper within them than a higher SES student. As faculty, it’s part of our job to inspire students to take their education more seriously. We have to teach the “whole” student. More student-centered curriculum would allow faculty to meet students where they are so that they can be more proactive in students’ success.

    • Bryan Reece says:

      I like this thought. There should be a way to tap into this. When lower SES students grasp the potential of higher education–the promise that comes with a college degree–the value is likely to be deeply personal.

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