Beyond Data: College Enrollment

To understand the many dimensions to an issue, engaging the community is essential to understanding the context for data.

To bring this data to life, we asked New Orleans residents how they relate to the data in The Youth Index 2016. Here’s what they had to say about the topic of College Enrollment:

I enrolled in college the fall after high school graduation, but did not return in the spring. Coming from a low-income family, at the time I felt the financial pressure to be a provider for the family. My mom was unable to work, so besides government assistance, the income for our household came from me. Therefore, I worked several jobs instead of focusing on school.”

– African American Female, Training Manager, age 38

For my daughter it means making sure she understands the importance of an education and removing roadblocks to ensure she enters college after high school, and continues through earning her degree. As her parent I must also consistently motivate and support her.”

– African American Female, Training Manager, age 38

The community can potentially remain in poverty if students don’t take advantage of higher education opportunities.”

– African American Female, Training Manager, age 38

Mentors are good supports to motivate our children to attend and complete college; Regular check-ins from the student’s “village” can ensure they are engaged in school and provide a support system that helps with issues and concerns; Allow children to be children and not parents, meaning help high schoolers with home issues that may increase their responsibilities and prevent them from focusing on their education; Guide students to find programs and curriculum that support their interests and passions. For instance, some people view college as just reading, writing, and math. But if your passion or career goals don’t follow that path, it may be hard for a high school student to see how college relates to them. Counselors can help students determine what they would really like to do and get them in contact with appropriate resources to find the right college program to meet their needs and long term goals.”

– African American Female, Training Manager, age 38

I think that it’s sad. I think that it has a lot to do with money and what people can afford. A lot of the time the reason why people drop out is because they don’t have enough money to finish. I think that also it also has to do with educators. If students had more support from educators in college when they don’t come to class or show signs of dropping out or lack of commitment, see what the root of the problem is. For example, they may have a child or be responsible for taking care of parents.”

– African American female, recent high school graduate, age 18