Beating the odds: how the poor get to college

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Jossey-Bass Publishers, 1996 - Education - 204 pages
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Students from families in the bottom income bracket are eight times less likely to graduate from college than those in the rest of the population. The gap in college attendance between rich and poor is actually growing. The stark reality today is that poverty is becoming increasingly inescapable, and the traditional pathways out of poverty are failing.
But some poor people do escape. Beating the Odds asks how the barrier of poverty can be overcome. It focuses on the anomalies, or success stories - the small percentage who somehow make it to college. Drawing on their own study of twenty-four poor, first-generation college students, the authors ask what factors - relationships, resources, and activities - made a difference? What happened in their lives that enabled them to beat the odds? How did they come to attend college when their parents had not, when their neighbors had not, and when most students at their local schools had not? The aim of the book is to try to understand the reasons for their success.
The authors ask the most critical question: Is it possible to reproduce those factors and thereby provide college opportunity and access for disadvantaged people generally? And they conclude with recommendations about what social and educational policy toward the poor should look like to be most effective in the future.

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Weighing the Odds
Beating the Odds
Improving the Odds

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About the author (1996)

Arthur Levine is president and professor of education at Teachers College, Columbia University.