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A new study in the Harvard Educational Review is highlighting how some black male college students are overcoming challenges, and the reasons for their success. Shaun Harper, a professor and executive director of the Center for the Study of Race and Equit


The vast majority of Black and Hispanic parents believe that obtaining a college degree will open doors for their children. In fact, according to a new study, parents of color hold that attitude more adamantly than White parents do, USA Today reports.

Nearly 80 percent of Black parents and 90 percent of Hispanics surveyed told the Pew Research Center that a college degree is extremely important—compared to roughly 66 percent of White parents.

Why the surprising gap? Researchers say that White parents don’t necessarily see having only a high school education as a barrier to entering the middle class.

About half of the Hispanic parents surveyed said having a higher education is necessary to climb the economic ladder. Roughly 43 percent of Black parents echoed that view. But only 22 percent of White parents shared that opinion.

Pew said Whites are more likely to be in the upper classes, which may explain why fewer of them see the necessity of having a college diploma.

José Luis Santos of The Education Trust, an advocacy group for low-income and minority students, told USA Today:

“When you have a certain level of income and comfort, you realize two things: If I have some financial means, I want my child to go to college, but if my child doesn’t … I have much more social and cultural capital to know that they can succeed in other ways — starting a business — without having a degree.”

The findings are also logical to Juliana Menasce Horowitz, associate director of research at Pew. These minority parents want their children to “have different opportunities” than they had. In that sense, the desire for the next generation to earn a college degree is aspirational, she told the newspaper.



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