Why Focus on African American Students?

National achievement and college completion data show Multi-Generational African American (MGAA) students and their families as a group that benefit the least from the promises of a college education in the United States. The absence of a college degree or some other post-secondary credential severely limits economic mobility and earning potential for Black families.  

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In Tacoma and throughout the United States, numerous data1 show Black families face complex systemic barriers to housing, health care, employment, transportation, and criminal justice, further exacerbating educational outcomes. Rainier Scholars combats this injustice by providing students and families access to high-quality educational opportunities early in life, and ongoing, comprehensive support through college graduation.  

While Rainier Scholars remains focused on supporting all underrepresented students of color, we are firmly committed to centering our Tacoma program design around those who are furthest from opportunity.

This design approach allows us to differentiate for groups who experience the greatest barriers to achieving college graduation, while effectively serving a wide range of families. 

Learn more about our program.