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Receiving a quality education is hard enough as it is, whether that includes attending a good elementary school, completing classes at a high-quality high school, or getting into and finishing college. If a student comes from an underprivileged family or a low-income background, achieving educational goals becomes that much harder. As you try to help all of your students set and accomplish academic and personal goals, you may find that some underprivileged students have a few more obstacles to overcome than other students.
While about 80% of students from high-income families attend college right out of high school, only about 52% of students from low-income families do so. Of those low-income students that do attend college, about two-thirds go to community colleges since they tend to have lower tuition rates, but the graduation rates of those schools are significantly lower than their more expensive counterparts. As an educational organization, we are passionate about helping students succeed, and we know you are too. Let us band together with our students to help them achieve success in both academia and in their personal lives so that the next generation is as strong and prepared as ever to face the world and bring about change across our communities.
Check out our list of top online resources that are great ways to help your underprivileged students.
This organization is a great resource for high-achieving, low-income students who are looking to enter college upon graduating from high school. QuestBridge was founded in 1994 and aims to connect brilliant students with the nation’s leading universities. They provide assistance and advice on preparing for college, applying to college, finding and applying for scholarships, and more.
Accredited Schools Online
This website has an entire section devoted to low-income students, complete with advice, step-by-step instructions, solutions to common problems, and a variety of opportunities and resources for low-income students to explore as they continue their journey into postsecondary education. Accredited Schools Online is full of helpful information about where to apply for scholarships and grants, how to get extra academic help, an overview of challenges that underprivileged students may face, some ways colleges can increase the success of these students, and more. This website also allows students to search online schools by state, major, or degree level.
This website helps first-generation, low-income, and underrepresented students connect with colleges, find mentors, talk with counselors, and discover scholarships. Students can search through college profiles and get matched with colleges based on their preferences, and College Greenlight can help students view scholarships that they qualify for and apply to them.
Equal Opportunity Schools
While this resource isn’t directly for students, the organization can benefit underprivileged students in huge ways, should schools and educators make use of it. Equal Opportunity Schools is an organization that works with schools to close the gap between low-income and high-income students within Advanced Placement (AP) and International Baccalaureate (IB) programs and classes. The goal is to increase enrollment in AP and IB classes, which can help lead to more students graduating from high school and attending college. This program also helps students reduce the number of classes they have to take in college before graduation, lowering their overall tuition levels, which can be hugely beneficial for lower-income students.
Though primarily in public schools through New York, this organization is also nationwide. iMentor works to connect high school students to mentors who can support and encourage them throughout their educational journey of completing high school, applying to and attending college, and ultimately graduating from college. The organization reports that students in their program are 29% more likely to go to college than other students and that 70% of their students will be the first in their families to attend college. Many underprivileged students don’t have the support they need at home when it comes to attending college, and that can have a significant impact on success and graduation rates. iMentor gives students encouragement and personal support throughout the entirety of their secondary and post-secondary education journey.
Paying for College Page by US News
US News and World Report have a myriad of articles devoted to financial aid and other finance- and college-related topics. These articles include topics such as how to pay less for a college education, what you need to know about student loans, information about Pell Grants, jobs that can help pay for college, and more. While lowering the cost of college and understanding financial aid is important for every student, low-income students may find more encouragement from learning about their options as the possibilities they discover may make a college degree seem attainable than before.
This website helps students pay for college by allowing them to set up a profile to be matched to qualifying scholarships and grants from various colleges, organizations, foundations, companies, and more. At Scholarships.com, students can also learn about admission statistics, athletics, enrollment information, majors, tuition costs, financial aid, and more at various colleges.
This online resource gives a great overview of scholarship and grant information for students from low-income families. It discusses the difference between merit-based financial aid and income-based financial aid, and it discusses the difference between scholarships and grants. Other articles on CollegeScholarships.org provide more information about applying for financial aid, how to qualify, how to search for aid based on a particular situation, and more.
One of the biggest issues that underprivileged students often have with attending college is preparing for and taking the SAT and ACT. Studies show that lower-income students are less likely to study for these tests, leading to lower scores and fewer admissions opportunities. Khan Academy offers official SAT practice, and it’s completely free. The website has interactive practice opportunities, a tailored practice plan based on PSAT or NMSQT results, study tips, test-taking strategies, and eight full-length practice tests in order to help students prepare.