Angie Houtz
Memorial Scholarship Fund

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Education in the United States: Unequal Access

American society presents great inequalities from a social and economic point of view. A study shows that 20% of the wealthiest population in the country controls almost 80% of the total wealth. This financial gap is reflected in unequal access to education, a situation that begins early in elementary school.

The number of opportunities depends on social status.

The school system in the United States is one of the least egalitarian in the industrialized world. The possibilities of the students vary according to the social status of their families. Making a comparison with the rest of the member countries of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), an American child, from a family with modest incomes, has fewer opportunities to access a quality university education than a child that comes from an equally small environment of a European country.

Students from affluent families have sufficient means to access preparatory courses for access to the university, an essential requirement in the process of admission to the American system. In this way, it is not surprising that among the 146 best universities in the US, only 10% of students are from the lower middle class.

The financing of the private school

Although each federal state finances similarly private schools, schools can complete this funding with their funds. In this way, schools that are located in wealthy areas are more likely to receive private funding, than those schools that are found in poor neighborhoods or neighborhoods. Schools with higher incomes can hire better-qualified teachers, offer updated material and better-equipped facilities; as well as other benefits that directly affect the training of students.

States are trying to reduce these funding gaps, but it remains complicated due to private contributions in public schools. For example, in the wealthy neighborhood of La Canada Flintridge in Los Angeles, the average income of a family is $ 154,947 and therefore, they can raise private funds without any problem, while in more impoverished neighborhoods like Huntington Park the average revenue per family is 36,620 dollars.

Student loans

The educational system in the USA is designed to see students as little economic resources. Due to the high cost of university education, making student loan contracts with private institutions is a common practice. In this way, significant pressure is exerted on the students, since the success in their projects and their student career are subordinated to the payment of their debts.

This is why many middle-class students are not able to pay this debt until they are 40 or 50 years old. Entering a vicious circle, where it is difficult to improve the social status of the person and in turn, this situation will affect the education of their children.

Education is a fundamental right, and all children should have the same opportunities to access quality education. Although the North American educational system responds to the minimum training requirements, it is essential to increase public awareness of this existing economic gap and reduce its impact, so that future generation is not harmed.

To mitigate these differences, it is necessary for the country to make changes in its educational system, so that it can offer better opportunities for access, under equal conditions to all students, who in the end are the future of the economy.