Motunrayo Olaniyan, Pei Hu, Vanessa Coca
A college credential can expand the range of career opportunities available to young adults. However, existing barriers to enrollment for prospective students pose equity gaps in college access and success, particularly for Black college aspirants. In Florida, racial and ethnic disparities in college enrollment contribute to disparities in educational attainment.
With support from the Helios Foundation, The Hope Center partnered with Hillsborough Community College and Miami Dade College to identify factors related to first-time college applicants’ enrollment plans and decisions, particularly among Black applicants in Florida. Findings from our initial study, which highlight the challenges influencing applicants’ college plans, were published in a brief released earlier this year: Factors that Jeopardize Postsecondary Enrollment and Success for Black Students in Florida. The findings from this paper build on those findings by revealing the underlying factors that contribute to college applicants’ enrollment decisions.
The results from this work highlight the work that Florida education leaders, college access advocates, and practitioners can do to increase access to a college education.