Do You Have Class?
Presented by: Betsy Rodriguez
2011-2012 Diversity Chair - NCASFAA
This session provides an overview of the various socio-economic
classes within the population of students who receive financial aid and
how to counsel students within the various populations successfully.
What is socio-economic status?
An individual's or group's position within a hierarchical social
structure. Socioeconomic status depends on a combination of
variables, including occupation, education, income, wealth, and place
of residence. Sociologists often use socioeconomic status as a means
of predicting behavior.
What does that mean?
•Key words
•Socioeconomic status depends on a combination of variables,
including education, occupation, income, wealth, and place of
residence. Sociologists often use socioeconomic status as a means of
predicting behavior.
• Socioeconomic status appears to create achievement gaps for Black and Hispanic
children, when compared to the achievement levels of White children (Duncan and
Magnuson, 2005).
• Children from low-SES families often begin kindergarten with significantly less
linguistic knowledge (Purcell-Gates, & Freppon, 1995).
•Children from less-advantaged homes score at least 10% lower than the national
average on national achievement scores in mathematics and reading (Hochschild,
• Children in impoverished settings are much more likely to be absent from school
throughout their educational experiences (Zhang, 2003), further increasing the
learning gap between them and their wealthier peers.
• While national high school dropout rates have steadily declined (National Center
for Education Statistics, 2002),dropout rates for children living in poverty have
steadily increased. Between 60 and 70% of students in low-income school districts
fail to graduate from high school (Harris,2005).
Demand for Education
•Statistics have shown that countries with high enrollment/
graduation rates have grown faster than countries without. The
United States has been the world leader in educational advances,
beginning with the high school movement (1910–1950).
•Educational advance is not the only variable for economic growth,
though, as it only explains about 14% of the average annual increase
in labor productivity over the period 1915-2005.
•Occupational status reflects the educational attainment required to
obtain the job and income levels that vary with different jobs and
within ranks of occupations.
•Additionally, it shows achievement in skills required for the job.
• Occupational status measures social position by describing job
characteristics, decision making ability and control, and
psychological demands on the job.
•Income refers to wages, salaries, profits, rents, and any flow of earnings
•Income can also come in the form of unemployment or workers
compensation, social security, pensions, interests or dividends, royalties,
trusts, alimony, or other governmental, public, or family financial
•Education also plays a role in income. Median earnings increase with each
level of education. The highest degrees, professional and doctoral degrees,
make the highest weekly earnings while those without a high school
diploma earn less. Higher levels of education are associated with better
economic and psychological outcomes.
Socio-economical Issues
•Psychological Health
•Physical Health
• Browne, Salomon, & Bassuk (1999) found that women who resided
in households that earned less than $10,000 annually had a 4-timesgreater risk of experiencing violence than women in wealthier
• Bassuk et al. (1996) found that homeless mothers reported
significantly more severe instances of physical and sexual assault over
their lifetime than low-income housed mothers.
• Buka, Stichick, Birdthistle, & Felton, (2001) found youths from
low-income neighborhoods witnessed significantly more severe
violence (viz., murders and stabbings) than youths from middle- and
upper-income neighborhoods.
Violence and Employment
Research on post-violence consequences finds that exposure to violence
can negatively affect the ability to sustain
• Intimate partner violence causes U.S. women to miss about 8 million
days of work and lose about $727 million in wages each year (National
Center for Injury Prevention and Control, 2003).
• After experiencing a violent incident, low-income women who worked
40-hour work weeks had only one-fifth odds of maintaining that full-time
status for 6 or more months than women who did not experience violent
incidents (Browne et al., 1999).
• Low-income women who experienced intimate partner violence or
aggression had only one-third odds of maintaining a 30-hour work week
for 6 or more monthsthan women who did not experience violence
Psychological Health
Research finds that Post Traumatic Stress Disorder has negative
consequences for income and employment.
• Individuals with untreated PTSD had significantly lower long-term
income and employment rates than those receiving treatment (Murdoch,
2006; Savoca & Rosenheck, 2000).
• Veterans with PTSD were 3 times more likely to be unemployed (Zatzick
et al., 1997).
• A lifetime diagnosis of PTSD was associated with a nearly 50% lower
probability of current employment (Savoca & Rosenheck, 2000).
• Individuals with more severe PTSD symptoms were less likely to have
full- or part-time employment (Smith. Schnurr, & Rosenheck, 2005).
Physical Health
• Socioeconomic status and race/ethnicity have
been associated with avoidable procedures,
avoidable hospitalizations, and untreated disease
(Fiscella, Franks, Gold, & Clancy, 2008).
•Do not judge a book by its cover.
•Be sensitive towards other cultures.
•Remain open minded.
•Put yourself in the student’s shoes.
•Remind yourself why you have a job.
•Treat others the way you want to be treated.
•Remain positive.