Sunday, April 28, 2013

Pacific Islander students roughly half as likely to have a parent with a college degree

For decades, the U.S. Census has produced data showing that Pacific Islanders are significantly less likely to hold college degrees than the general population.  Still, our research indicates that just half of all underrepresented minority academic programs recognize that some or all Pacific Islanders are underrepresented. (We should add that the number of underrepresented minority programs that exclude Pacific Islanders is falling rapidly -- from 56 percent of our sample last fall to just 50 percent today.)

There's no magic wand to solve this issue overnight, but we believe that an important way to address the issue is by raising awareness.  That's why we're educating underrepresented minority programs, and asking them to change their policies. It's also why we're writing on this blog, sharing information with you.

In that spirit, here's another study in that area: The National Center for Educational Statistics published a paper last August called "Higher Education: Gaps in Access and Persistence Study."  Among other things, the study found that Pacific Islander students are just under half as likely to have a parent with a college degree, compared with the general population. (35 percent for the general population vs. 18 percent for Pacific Islanders.)

You can read the whole study here, or view the page that I mentioned here. Let's hope that more underrepresented minority scholarships choose to allow Pacific Islanders keeps increasing, so that more Pacific Islander children and parents are able to achieve their dreams.



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