Toward a More Equitable Future for Postsecondary Access

In 2020, American society encountered a flashpoint. Racism, both individual and systemic, was laid bare by an environment in which racist attitudes and beliefs became prevalent, by violence against Black Americans, and by the COVID-19 pandemic. These seismic events exacerbated the enduring effects of systemic racism in all areas of life, from health care to housing to employment to education.

The impediments to racial equity in college admission and financial aid are complex, systemic, and longstanding, so the work to dismantle those impediments requires courage, collaboration, creativity, and an unrelenting commitment to both understand the problems and continue to strive to solve them.

This 2022 report from the National Association for College Admission Counseling (NACAC) and the National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators (NASFAA), is the result of a months-long project funded by Lumina Foundation that seeks to reimagine college admission and financial aid through an equity lens. The report recommends a series of actions for admission and financial aid practitioners, educational institutions, and state and federal agencies and policymakers. And it urges further, deeper study and examination of issues that create barriers to entry to postsecondary education for traditional-aged and adult students of color, particularly Black students. In focusing on advancing equity in college admission for Black students, the report acknowledges the legacy of discrimination and the ongoing effects of structural barriers against Black Americans throughout society that continue to limit postsecondary educational opportunity for Black students.

The report was made possible by NACAC’s Commission on Redesigning College Admission and Financial Aid Through a Racial Equity Lens, a national panel of leaders and researchers from across higher education, policy, and civil rights.

The commission developed specific proposals for reimagining financial aid and college admission systems and ultimately eliminating racial inequity in postsecondary educational access. The panel is the product of NACAC’s partnership with the National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators (NASFAA) and is made possible through funding from Lumina Foundation.

See the full report here