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Black and Low-Income Student Voices on Their College Environment: Student-Identified Essentials for College Success

Fri, April 9, 10:40am to 12:10pm EDT (10:40am to 12:10pm EDT), Division J, Division J - Section 2b Paper and Symposium Sessions


College completion rates of Black and low-income students substantially lag their peers. To investigate this issue through the voices of students, Black and low-income students (n=32) at five Midwest universities were interviewed about their perspectives on what supports were helping them succeed and in what institutional policies and practices were lacking. Additionally, we interviewed 26 college administrators at the same institutions to provide context and show discrepancies. We found strong and consistent student voice concerning four issues: financial aid, campus culture, diversity and inclusion, and academic supports. Students’ perspectives about what was helping and hindering their college success in each of these areas is described, along with institutional recommendations to maximize low-income and Black student success.