Two Lives, Two Stories: A Firsthand Look at the Disparity of College Life
Of course, no one on the planet lives exactly the same existence, but college provides a unique environment in which to measure the similarities—and differences—in socioeconomic experiences.
In a recent Washington Post article, reporters Rachel Kurzius and Harrison Smith both followed around a college student—each on an opposite end of the income gap. Today, only 15 percent of the nation’s 20 million students enrolled in an undergraduate program in 2015 fit the “traditional” model, i.e. a four-year degree program for 18- to 21-year-olds.
The demographics are changing rapidly too: Students are now more likely to be female, and live off campus. And a whopping 43 percent of full-time undergrad students work at least part time.
So, to peek into what constitutes “typical” in today’s landscape, the reporters trailed two students— Sheila Suarez, 23, a commuter at the University of Maryland Baltimore County who grew up in Gaithersburg, and Lars E. Schonander, 19, a sophomore at George Washington University who grew up in Larchmont, N.Y. Their day (tracked in April) couldn’t have been more different, and the reasons why were as varied as you might expect. Their experience—in just one day—reflected their upbringing, their financial status, and what they came to college to achieve.
Read the whole article here.