Challenges our students face | Aspire

Challenges our students face

High school students from low SES backgrounds and regional and remote locations face some very specific challenges and barriers in relation to accessing and attending university.

If educational disadvantage has negatively impacted a student’s academic performance and potentially their attitude towards education, their self-confidence and motivation in relation to attending university will likely be low, as may their capacity to cope with the rigours of a degree.

Limited social capital may also mean few people to connect them with the idea of university, teach them about the realities and benefits of studying there, guide them in navigating the complex application process and accessing the supports in place specifically to address disadvantage.

Less social capital may also translate into limited exposure to the range of career paths and job opportunities in life. Students may have also received minimal career guidance to help them explore personal interests and skills and start to understand their place in the world beyond school and family.  

Financial hardship may also be a perceived and real barrier to attending university, and the practicalities of transitioning from school to university may be particularly complex and daunting if students are required to leave home, find housing and employment, and adapt to a new culture and way of life without their usual support network.