Colorado education groups call on K-12 system to prepare more low-income students for nation’s top colleges
Report reveals dearth of low-income students matriculating to top-tier colleges
Denver – Education groups released a report, Missing the Bus: Colorado’s Elite College Access Gap, today showing that low-income Colorado students are largely left behind when it comes to enrolling in the nation’s top colleges. Even though 42% of students in Colorado qualify as low-income, a non-low income student is more than 12 times as likely to go to a top-tier college—a list that includes several Colorado colleges.
“We must recognize that different colleges provide different experiences for students, and, if we as a society value equal opportunity as we say we do, it’s critical that Colorado’s low-income students have the same access to elite colleges as their wealthier peers,” said Van Schoales, CEO of A+ Denver.
Findings in the report, Missing the Bus, include:
For every low-income student that enrolls in a top college, 12.5 non-low income students do;
75% of Colorado high school graduates who enroll in top-tier colleges come from just 10 school districts (of 178);
45% of Coloradans matriculating to top-tier colleges come from just 25 of 458 public high schools;
All students are more likely to enroll in top-tier colleges when they come from wealthier districts. For example, 10.9% of Boulder High’s low-income kids went on to top schools compared to 3.7% of Denver’s and 2.8% of Adams-Arapahoe’s;
A low-income student enrolling in college is five times as likely to enroll at a top school if s/he comes from a wealthy district rather than a poor district;
While 57% of Colorado high school graduates enroll in college, only 10% matriculate to a top college.
“College Track is pleased to support the ‘Missing the Bus’ report. This data allows us to have transparent conversations about the critical work needed to support student persistence and success. We look forward to working with districts and other partners in the collective goal of college fit and graduation,” said Eddie Koen, Colorado Executive Director of College Track.
Co-sponsors of Missing the Bus include Colorado Succeeds, College Summit, College Track, and Democrats for Education Reform.