Introduction to Challenges of Minority Students
In today’s world, education is accessible to all. All universities around the globe emphasize the importance of a college degree for a prospective future.
The National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) report shows that students with higher education degrees have 44 percent more chance of landing a job than students who don’t.
Hence, governments and educational bodies are working together to make opportunities for students to secure good grades in school, win scholarships, and apply to a good university to pursue their dream degree.
However, is that the case for all students worldwide? How about minorities? Do they enjoy equal rights as everyone else?
Is the path to higher education simple for them as compared to the students belonging to the majority? Actually, no!
Even after having similar or higher grades and capabilities than the whites, most African Americans, Latinos, and native minorities come across endless barriers to get into college.
If a student from the minority section successfully makes it through the admission process, s/he appears to underperform.
Before I dig deep into the six significant challenges minorities face, let’s understand the classification of the minorities.
Who are minorities?
Minorities are the group less in number than the rest of a state/country population. They possess unique cultural, religious, ethnic, and linguistic background differing from the rest and remain in a non-dominant position. There are three primary types of minorities:
Immigrant minorities are people who move out to a developed country for better opportunities. Most immigrant minorities experience language and cultural barriers more than academic failure.
Groups like Jews and Mormons are minorities in numbers, but they experience no disruption in learning as they have a cultural framework promoting education.
African Americans, American Indians, and native Hawaiians are examples of involuntary minorities. African Americans alone represent 15 percent of the US population.
6 Significant Barriers Minorities Encounter to Pursue Higher Education
When you talk about the restrictions minorities come across, the first two factors that come to mind are financial conditions and social stereotyping. Let’s discuss more on that with additional challenges.
Limited university access:
It’s no secret that university access demands a lump sum amount of money, making it incredibly challenging for the minorities to enter it.
Although there are many scholarship opportunities, fierce competition makes it all the more difficult for the minorities.
Unlike the majority, most students from the minority section cannot afford additional perks like arts, sports, academic homework help services for entrance exam preparation, etc.
You see, the only way a student from the minority section can make it to the university if s/he is one of the best of the best students. There’s no room for mediocre students.
Lack of support and encouragement:
Often minority students belong from families where previous generations received no proper education.
Due to the lack of education and orthodox mentality, many students are not encouraged or in some case, not allowed to study and pursue their dreams.
With no family support, they accept whatever minimum wage profession comes their way and do not even try to excel in their studies or fight for scholarships.
If the current generation breaks the chain and encourages its children to study, the higher education statistics of the minorities will improve.
Inadequate knowledge of the possibilities:
Did you know that only 30 percent of black minorities have access to the internet? The internet now is the most significant source of information.
Whether it is finding the most affordable university or university grants or scholarships, all information is available on the internet in a click.
Due to poverty, the majority of minorities fail to take advantage of the available possibilities. Unaware of the opportunities, such students struggle to keep up with the changing times and lose in the battle between education and poverty.
Lack of diversity:
This factor is not unknown to any student belonging to the minorities. Whether a student belongs from the Afro-American community or an Asian community in a foreign land, the sense of isolation isn’t new.
The lack of diversity in both students and faculty members is another challenge that 90 percent of the minorities experience while pursuing higher education.
Even if minorities make it through the admission process, they feel incredibly isolated. They find it hard to communicate and build a relationship which later impacts their grades.
Racial slurs, lack of support, and isolation affect a student’s mentality. They find it hard to study and choose to drop out without realizing the long-term damage.
It’s the responsibility of the university and the professor to promote diversity on campus. They should hire professors from diverse academic backgrounds to build a strong bond with the students and provide invaluable support.
Poor language proficiency:
Believe it or not, there are hundreds and thousands of minority children who barely know a word of English. In that case, enrolling in an English-speaking university in countries like the UK, America, or Australia, can be no less than a nightmare for students.
Not to mention, such students receive primary and higher secondary education from schools where the language’s proficiency is highly questionable.
The quality of education students receive from professors with limited English proficiency is insufficient to cut through the tough competition.
Hence, schools should hire instructors who are well-versed with the language and help students build a strong base to compete with peers who are taught by highly experienced teachers.
Social and institutional stereotypes:
Stereotypical thinking is the most significant setback in a progressive society. Many professors have stereotypical thinking and show little encouragement to minority students.
Preconceived judgments like minorities come from a poor background, they don’t know English, and they have poor academic skills create a gap between the students and professors.
Teachers should realize how crucial it is to promote diversity. Kindness, support, effective communication, and lack of prejudice can help students from minority backgrounds pursue higher education and build a flourishing career.
Minority students face many academic, social, and financial restraints that impede their dreams of pursuing a higher education degree at a good university.
Although most universities worldwide are now taking the initiative to support minority students and promote diversity, student retention, and recruitment, we all have a long way to go to ensure minorities get access to opportunities as much as the students from an affluent background.
Olaila Lee is a web developer at a reputed firm in the United States. She also provides the best essay writer to students. Olaila Lee loves to read novels whenever she is free.