The racial/ethnic academic success gap in the United States is a well-documented socioeconomic inequity. National evaluations in science, mathematics, and reading demonstrate that White kids outperform all other racial/ethnic groups, with Black and Hispanic pupils doing the best [2, 3]. There are several explanations for these disparities. One factor may be the impact of race/ethnicity on access to resources such as educationally relevant family income, parental education, and involvement in school activities. Ethnicity also appears to play a role in determining who receives discipline problems at school. Research has shown that Blacks and Hispanics are disproportionately represented among students receiving out-of-school suspensions and expulsions. Another factor may be discrimination based on race/ethnicity when applying for scholarships or getting hired by businesses. Even after accounting for access to resources and disciplinary action, there remains a significant achievement gap between Whites and minorities. This article will discuss this issue in more detail.
Here we will focus on how ethnicity affects class through the lens of race. The term "race" is used in two different ways in social science research: as a biological category (i.e., human populations can be divided into black, white, Asian, Native American), and as an analytical concept (i.e., researchers use racial categories to study how inequalities exist within societies). It is important to understand that these concepts are not equivalent; rather, they overlap with one another to some degree.
Findings show that (1) earnings disparities between African Americans persist after controlling for socioeconomic status, gender, and other control variables; (2) racial differences increase with rising social class status; (3) segregation increases the disparity between African Americans and white males; and (4) segregation increases the disparity between African Americans and white males among African Americans. These findings indicate that race affects social class.
For non-native students, the values of the variables utilized (measured at the school/cohort level) are more distributed than for native students. Students from ethnic minorities had a somewhat weaker relationship with instructors, slightly lower self-esteem, a slightly greater degree of school well-being, and less social integration. These differences were generally consistent across time.
Ethnicity also influenced who went to college. For example, Asian Americans were the least likely of any major group to attend college. This was true even after we controlled for ability levels. Black and Hispanic Americans were more likely to go to college than Asians.
Finally, ethnicity affected who got hired after graduation. For example, white graduates were most likely to be offered employment, while black and hispanic graduates were less likely to find work.
These findings indicate that there is discrimination against non-white students in education, which leads them to receive poorer educations and earn less money later in life.
Sources: Wan, Jennifer L., et al. Research Report 100. Washington, D.C.: American Institutes for Research, March 21, 2015.
|2019 U.S. Census Bureau Estimates|
|Hispanic and Latino (of any race)||18.5%|
|Black or African American||13.4%|
When a student's application is reviewed by a college's admissions office, test scores are considered. Even while California schools avoid utilizing a student's ethnicity as a main deciding factor for admission, state institutions nonetheless examine a student's ethnic background. For example, UC Davis admits students of any race, but notes on its website that it considers applicants' races when determining which groups to admit. Similarly, Stanford University says it considers an applicant's racial and ethnic identity in order to provide "diversity" on its campus.
Colleges also may ask questions about your ethnicity during the application process. This may include requests for information about your family history, or details about yourself and your upbringing. If you don't want to answer these questions, then don't submit a complete application. Simply send a note with your reasons for not wanting to answer these questions to the school's admissions officer.
Additionally, some colleges will contact you if they have more questions after reviewing your application. For example, if a student isn't sure what category they fit into on their college applications, then they should contact the institution directly to make sure they're being considered for all available spots. Some colleges share only certain information between themselves, so this call might only include a part of their overall review process.
Finally, some colleges may use your ethnicity as a factor in determining who gets admitted.