A recent Advocate article reveals that a majority of the TOPS Scholarships recipients are from white, high income families. While Higher Education administrators see numbers, I have an on the ground perspective. From this view, I am not surprised by what they found. While I am a proponent on policy changes to help increase access for minority and low-come students, I believe you can see results quicker if you create your own success. I created E_Source Learning Solutions for those low-income and/or minority families who want to create their own college success. However, for every one student that I see that has a solid college plan, I encounter several others that do not have one at all. So these are the following observations that have caused me not to be surprised by the findings. Sadly, a majority of these observations do include the students from minority and/or low-income families.
- Many students wait to late to seriously prepare for the ACT.
- Many parents do not invest in ACT preparation whether it be in time or effort. There are many free preparation opportunities that are underutilized.
- Many students do not understand the value of receiving a thousands of dollars and what that means for their family and their future.
- Many parents are not fully aware of the TOPS requirements and rely on high school counselors to make sure their students meet those requirements.
In my humble opinion, the discrepancy is not the case of the have’s and have not’s is a situation of the know’s and know not’s, the do and do not’s. While most comments on this article are all over the place from racial discrimination to black fathers being in the household, I am more focused on personal accountability and practical solutions than theoretical conversations.