What Are the College Prospects for the 4 Million Black Children Living in Poverty?

Census_Bureau_seal.svgMoney remains a major barrier in the quest for educational equality in America. With annual costs of more than $50,000 for some private colleges and universities and fees of more than $20,000 at some state-operated higher educational institutions, “sticker shock” tends to push people away from attaining higher education. It is true that there are vast financial aid resources available but often full financial need cannot be met and prospective students are faced with the prospect of going into substantial debt in order to obtain a college degree.

The lack of money for higher education is of particular concern to the African American community. There are large numbers of young Black Americans who come from low-income families who don’t even bother to consider pursuing higher education because of the cost. Previous research has shown that even high-achieving students from low-income families don’t apply to high-ranking colleges and universities due to the sticker shock of the higher education price tag despite the fact that there are many financial aid opportunities available to these students.

The latest data from the U.S. Census Bureau shows that in 2014, 10,755,000 African Americans were living below the official poverty line in the United States. This was 26.2 percent of the entire Black population. In contrast, only 10.1 percent of the non-Hispanic White population was living in poverty. The Black-White poverty rate gap where African Americans are about three times as likely to be poor as Whites, has remained virtually unchanged for the past 45 years.

The poverty rate is even more severe for Black children. In 2014, there were 4,090,000 African Americans under the age of 18 in the United States who were living in poverty. This was 37.1 percent of all African American children. And most disturbing is the fact that there was a sharp rise in the poverty rate for Black children in the past year. In 2013, 33.7 percent of all Black children were poor.

The full Census Bureau report, Income and Poverty in the United States, 2014, may be downloaded by clicking here.

Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Get the JBHE Weekly Bulletin

Receive our weekly email newsletter delivered to your inbox

Latest News

Higher Education Grants or Gifts of Interest to African Americans

Here is this week’s news of grants or gifts to historically Black colleges and universities or for programs of particular interest to African Americans in higher education.

Yale Library Acquires Digital Collection of Langston Hughes Papers

In a recent December upload, the Yale University Library added a collection of papers from Black poet Langston Hughes to the school's online archive. The collection contains correspondence between Hughes and other authors and civil rights activists of his time.

Academic Fields Where Blacks Earned Few or No Doctoral Degrees in 2022

In 2022, African Americans earned 1.2 percent of all mathematics and statistics doctorates, 1.2 percent of all doctorates in computer science, 1.7 percent of all doctorates in chemistry, and only 1.7 percent of all doctorates awarded in engineering disciplines.

Historically Black Central State University Appoints Morakinyo Kuti as President

Morakinyo A.O. Kuti has been named president of historically Black Central State University in Ohio. Dr. Kuti has held numerous leadership roles in his tenure with the university, most recently serving as vice president of research and economic development.

Featured Jobs