Jim Applegate, of the Center for the Study of Education Policy, will participate in a panel discussion at the 2018 University-Wide Teaching & Learning Symposium January 10. The session titled “Does Fairness Matter? Giving All College Students a Fair Shake” will discuss why college opportunity is more important than ever to traditionally underserved students, how colleges have made progress in reducing gaps, and what higher education generally and Illinois State faculty, staff, and administration specifically must do, going forward, to increase their commitment to fairness for an increasingly diverse student body.

Nearly 80 percent of wealthy U.S. 24 year-olds have a four-year college degree. That number falls to just over a third of middle class and one out of 10 low income young adults. The top 100 elite U.S. public and private college have made no progress in reducing underrepresentation for students of color in more than 30 years. What is going on here? Does this seem fair? It only seems fair to those who believe that the income of the family into which people are born or the color of their skin determines their ability to benefit from a college education.

The good news is that many institutions have made significant progress in giving all students (low income, adult, first generation, and students of color) fairer treatment when it comes to college access and success. Illinois State has made good progress recently.