Low-Income Students of Color: Applications Lagging Behind 2020

Through early October and November 2021, high application volume seemed to be the norm – and though it’s slowed in recent months, performance is still strong. According to MARKETview data, change in year-over-year application volume increased 5.5 percent in January and 6.6 percent in February.   

While application volume is increasing overall, one population of students is being impacted the most: low-income students of color. 

From 2020 to 2021, students of color submitted 2.6 percent fewer applications overall. This has since rebounded to a 6.5 percent increase over 2020.

However, if we look at students of color by income, less affluent students reveal a bigger discrepancy. As of February 15, 2022, applications for this population lag behind 2020 by 5.1 percent. In comparison, low-income white students are down 1.6 percent over 2020.  

The cause is not a lack of inquiries. MARKETview partners saw a 12.9 percent increase in inquiries from low-income students of color over 2020. The problem is that those students have not yet converted to submitted applications.  

The lingering effects of the pandemic continue to impact all students, but especially students of color. Institutions should provide additional support to assist these students through the college search process. 

MARKETview can easily segment this population throughout the enrollment funnel. We will continue to monitor this population’s progress and offer strategic analysis and advice to our partners along the way.