Enrolling in and completing college is the most reliable pathway to economic mobility in the United States, but access to post-secondary opportunities is not equal for youth from all family backgrounds. New research by the Center on Children and Families examines how college enrollment rates vary depending on gender, socioeconomic status, and race or ethnicity and the role that differences in academic preparation through high school play in explaining differences across groups. What does research say about the barriers facing students growing up in socioeconomically disadvantaged families or from historically excluded racial and ethnic backgrounds? Why have boys been falling behind in college enrollment? What can be done to address unequal access to college? What additional research is needed?
On Monday, January 23, the Brookings Center on Children and Families held an event addressing these questions, featuring a presentation of findings from a new report on understanding the role of academic preparation in disparities in college enrollment by socioeconomic status, gender, and race, followed by a panel of experts who discussed the findings of the report and future directions for both researchers and policymakers.
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