Home News Low-Income and Minority Students Are Growing Share of Enrollments, and 2 Other Takeaways From New Study – The Chronicle of Higher Education

Low-Income and Minority Students Are Growing Share of Enrollments, and 2 Other Takeaways From New Study – The Chronicle of Higher Education

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A growing number of undergraduates come from low-income families, especially at less-selective colleges, according to a new analysis by the Pew Research Center.

Using data from the National Postsecondary Student Aid Study — which was last updated in 2016 — the Pew researchers found that community colleges and the least-selective four-year colleges have seen the greatest rise in poor and minority students. The most selective, private four-year institutions have not seen as much of an increase, according to a report by the researchers.

The report, released on Wednesday, places the fast-changing demographics of higher education in sharp relief. Here are three key takeaways:

1. More low-income students may be going to college, but they aren’t attending selective institutions.

While poverty among 18-to-64-year-olds has remained relatively flat in the past two decades, the share of undergraduates who were impoverished has increased from 12 percent to 20 percent. That may help explain why their enrollment growth isn’t reflected across all institution types. Most low-income students are flocking to the least-selective colleges.

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