Target: President of Leadership Enterprise for a Diverse America, John C Roberts
Goal: Commend organization for supporting low income prospective college students.
Income is one of the top decisive factors for low-income students when applying for college. Many bright students go under the radar of prestigious schools simply because they cannot afford it. Equally qualified students are being short-changed by their family’s economic status. Indeed this has led to an under-representation of qualified, low-income students. A former president of Princeton University, Shirley Tilghman, calls it a system of “aristocratic education.” A Georgetown study on prestigious college admissions is a glaring example of this problem. A mere 14 percent of accepted students at competitive colleges come from the lower half of the income bracket and 5 percent come from the lower quarter.
However, a non-profit organization called LEDA, or Leadership Enterprise for a Diverse America, seeks to change this. This organization offers academic tutoring, college application guidance, and counseling through the standard four years of college to economically disadvantaged students, who are at the top of their class. Those accepted to the program, attend a paid seven-week boot camp at Princeton University, during which it provides the students a taste of the rigors of higher education and guidance through the dreaded application process. Counselors show what the best financial aid is available for them.
Forty eight percent of LEDA students in 2013 have been admitted to an Ivy League college, MIT, or Stanford. Top students who attend top tier colleges have a significantly higher chance of graduating (82 percent), whereas top students who attend non-competitive college have a 49 percent chance of graduating. Income should not be a barrier to students’ education and career success. Unfortunately, the reality is, this problem is pervasive throughout the education system. More resourceful families are able to provide a better pre-college educational experience for their children.
Sign this petition to commend LEDA for leveling the playing field in education for socioeconomically, disadvantaged students.
Dear Mr. Roberts,
Thank you for supporting equal educational opportunities. Your mission to show students that they have many options even though the price tag of their dream college is daunting is praise-worthy. Prospective college students should not be deterred from applying to a competitive college simply because they don’t have the economic means to do so. It is unfortunate that qualified students are aiming low. This hurts their career opportunities. These missed opportunities will have rob our economy of gifted engineers, doctors, teachers, and other integral professions.
Merit should be the sole determinate of college admissions, not money. Please continue to provide economically disadvantaged students a path to an optimal college experience.
[Your Name Here]
Image Credit: 401 (K) 2013 via Flickr