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  • Writer's pictureKaren Brittingham-Edmond

The Struggle for Black College Student Funding: Overcoming Systemic Obstacles In The Dept Of Education

June 30, 2024


Front Page Photo Source Library of Congress Wix Unsplash Media

Picture Source: Wix Media

Dear readers, it is crucial to recognize the importance of providing long-term disenfranchised Black American students with access to funding as they pursue a bachelor's degree. This is essential for ensuring equitable educational opportunities, particularly for those who are descendants of chattel slavery survivors and have endured historic and ongoing domestic terrorism, as well as the impact of black codes, also known as Jim Crow Laws. Access to student financial resources can help alleviate financial barriers, enabling these students to afford higher education at both home-based universities and out-of-state institutions, thus increasing their chances of successfully completing a bachelor's degree. Such access can help level the playing field for student populations with a history of disenfranchisement due to seemingly harmless policies or initiatives that ultimately prove detrimental.

For a long time, Black North American students have faced systematic obstacles in obtaining their degrees, not due to their academic performance, but because, when they are in their final courses with one more semester to graduate, financial aid departments withhold all funding, claiming that funds were designated only for books and tuition, rather than the well-being of the student. Some students are able to overcome this setback and complete their degrees because they have a stable living situation, while others, facing rising living and housing costs resulting from gentrification, find themselves living in their cars.

Picture Source: Wix Media

In today's contemporary society, obtaining a bachelor's degree is essential for long-term discriminated against Black citizens for several reasons:

  1. A bachelor's degree can significantly expand career opportunities and earning potential, helping break the poverty cycle and providing greater financial stability.

  2. Higher education is not just about career opportunities: it's about empowerment. It empowers individuals to pursue leadership roles, advocate for social justice, and meaningfully contribute to the community. This empowerment is a powerful tool for positive change and progress. Lastly

  3. Obtaining a bachelor's degree is not just a personal achievement, it's a contribution to a more diverse and inclusive society. It helps address historical and educational disparities, fostering positive change and progress. This is a cause we can all get behind, as it is crucial for current and future generations of learners.

I want to highlight the experiences of other Black students, including my older sister Cynthia, who was on the dean's list for years. I struggled to comprehend why she and many of her peers, who happened to be Black, were unable to complete their degrees and felt so disheartened. Now, years later, I realize that there were systemic barriers in place that prevented them from accessing the monetary resources they needed to graduate. As we revitalize the Echo, we are committed to advocating for justice for all Black students who were unfairly denied the financial support necessary for their college success.

For African Americans, we must understand that these quiet Jim Crow practices must be outed for the sake of the future leaders of our people. Or else the counterfeit will step in and assume positions that Black Americans were supposed to acquire. Those individuals will do a horrible job because it was not their opportunity to have in the first place. An old saying in the Black church goes, "Some are called,  some are sent, and some just went." This means if individuals take the place of someone who was called or sent to do a particular work, everything will be negatively skewed and out of order. Because the chosen or sent one was blocked from ascertaining their position with the counterfeit.

Picture Source: Lawerence Crayton Wix Unsplash Media

Over the years, Black college achievement has been hampered by systematically blocking discriminated students, especially Black students, from achieving their destiny. However, if given the right opportunities, plus citizenship equal access to monetary funding, these students' lives had the potential to succeed and contribute significantly to society. According to a report shared by Courtney Brown on February 2023, titled "Black learners aren't enrolling or staying in college. A new poll shows why."  Shares per an " Gallup-Lumina Foundation poll  how discrimination often derails Black learners' dreams of better-paying jobs or promotions with degrees and credentials."

The poll indicated that one in five Black postsecondary students experience frequent or occasional discrimination, compared to 15 percent for their peers. Additionally, Black students reported feeling disrespected or unsafe in less diverse student populations. The lack of access to necessary financial resources can be perceived as obstructive and may contribute to their struggles, which could have been avoided if addressed.

That's why the relaunched Echo is seeking to form a focus group to see how many people are negatively affected by the discriminatory actions against Black citizens in the area of blocked monetary resources that they were eligible for as American College students. If you have been affected by this discriminatory policy, please contact the relaunched Echo News T.V. L.L.C so that we can address this unjust and biased policy together. A mind is a terrible thing to waste, and Jim Crow policies have no place in the United States of America. Especially in the Dept of Education.


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