Institutions should rethink how and why they request personal student stories: Opinion

Postsecondary institutions should be cautious about how and why they request the personal stories of students who have received scholarships because they are from low-income backgrounds, writes Bintou Diarra. Diarra describes a situation in which administrators consistently sent a survey request with the intention of using student stories to gain support from donors. The author argues that this is marginalizing to low-income students, as it creates a transactional relationship, puts additional responsibilities on these students, and reifies the differences of low-income students. Diarra writes that requesting personal stories too early in the student and institution’s relationship, and without the intent of using these stories to support the student, demonstrates to the students that their institution only cares about engaging with their class background when it benefits the institution. Inside Higher Ed (Acct. Req.) Note: Archived stories may contain dead links or be missing source links.

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