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Riley Payton

Mrs. Davis
English Comp. II
13, June 2015
Poverty and Education
When someone thinks about poverty their mind will probably associate it with things like
hunger, housing, and jobs. But not a lot of people think about how poverty and education play
into each other. It is harder for impoverished people to get a good education than someone with
disposable income, and without a good education it is significantly more difficult for those
impoverished people to bridge the social gap and move up to middle class. Being in poverty is a
struggle that forty six million Americans have to deal with, and its a tricky problem to get out of.
As Americans we are taught that in order to be successful in life we need a good
education, and without a college degree we will not be able to find a job and support ourselves or
our families. For many Americans sending themselves or their children to college can be difficult
financially. Many families just dont have enough disposable income to spend thousands of
dollars on developing their education at a college or university. Some people find help through
financial aid and scholarships, but thats not always an option. To get a scholarship big enough to
cover most of a college education students have to be preparing as early as middle school. This is
harder for impoverished kids because many of them have to work part-time jobs to help support
their families. To work a job, do schoolwork, and participate in extra-curricular activities a
student has to be very motivated and persistent. Not every student has the skills needed to do all
of these things, but if they do and they work hard they could move up and out of poverty.

While having a college education is something that many people strive for it doesnt
necessarily guarantee a good paying job after graduation. With more and more people getting
college degrees the impressiveness of having one is quickly fading away and most employers
require a college degree for a job. This makes it hard for impoverished people to want to go to
college, because the act of spending all of that time and money on an education doesnt
guarantee a stable job after. They might be better off saving and investing that money elsewhere.
Being in poverty is a lifelong struggle for many families in the United States. It can
hinder the potential of thousands of people who, with the right financial support, could contribute
greatly to society. Education is not a perfect fix to the problem of poverty, but it could definitely


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literary anthology. New York: The New Press
Eitzen, D. S. & Smith, K. E. (2009). Experiencing poverty: Voices from the bottom (2nd
ed.). Boston: Pearson.
Gorski, P. & Landsman, J. (Eds.). (2014). The poverty and education reader: A call for
equity in many voices. Sterling, VA: Stylus