White Privilege in Education: Analytical Essay

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White privilege impacts the education system in many ways. It is known that colleges are mostly attended by white race. Colleges don’t want to be seen to discriminate so they allow a small percentage of their students be minority this includes black and hispanic students. Colleges often don’t spend time in enrolling any other race minorities and just focus on white students because they will get through graduation and focus in school. Education should be open to everyone equally and not have restrictions to those of other races. This essay will inform the reader how white privilege runs the education system giving those of a minority race be left behind without the same opportunities.

White Privilege in Education

When people talk about the United States societies instant thought is everyone is equal regardless of their race. Society runs under this belief knowing that not everyone has the same opportunities and minorities are the only ones facing this issue most importantly in the education system. Some people are born with privilege and some have to work for it even though it’s not the same. White people that already have privilege think that just because everyone has equal rights that “White privilege” isn’t an issue. In today's society everyone thinks that race is not an issue anymore but this is all just being pushed behind and it’s referred to as color blindness.

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White privilege is a really controversial issue and has two sides. The two sides of this issue are people think that they are at a disadvantage because of their race even culture and the other side is where white people get attacked because it’s not something they choose but something they were born with. White privilege is “the societal privilege that benefits white people over non-white people, particularly if they are otherwise under the same social, political, or economic circumstances”(dictionary). This privilege is not earned but already born with and is only to white people because of their skin color. This is not only a privilege but also the way people treat you and it puts everyone of color at a disadvantage in every situation.

The privilege of going to college or at least having an education is something everyone migrates to the United States for. Having the opportunity to have an education is everyone's dream. The problem that comes in the education system is when only a certain amount of students get a higher privilege educating themselves. Being of color in this country is a disadvantage because schools are not looking at the students because of their skills and intelligence but most of the time they are looking for only of those white white skin making white privilege an argumental topic in the education system. Some of the issues that come towards white privilege is higher education for white students, academic courses, and an opportunity of graduating.

Racism is an influence in oppression in areas such as cultural, beliefs, and social structures that are disadvantages in privilege for those of color. “Much of the United States history embeds privilege for whites in access to higher education,” according to Smith(p.10, 2015). Making this affect the education process of admitting students of color into schools based on how they look and not about their passion to continue having an education. Colored people are at a disadvantage when racism and white privilege are combined. This is happening in institutions with higher education and its known of whites having the advantage to be successful academically compared to those of color.

“Race often remains invisible to the privileged white majority in academia, and racism in this setting is characteristically shrouded in rational discourse,” stated by Johnson Bailey and Cervero(p. 19, 2002). White privilege is so invisible to those who have this privilege and don’t acknowledge it and see how hard it is to those without it. People of color struggle on a daily basis to fit in a country that discriminates them everyday and having to deal with education stop them from their goals to become something better. Education should be available with the same equal opportunity no matter what you look like. It is thought that people with white skin have a better life and an easier way to reach their goals without them having to fight to get what they deserve. Having the idea that white students are more successful and have higher graduation rates just makes this topic even more of an issue because if everyone had the same privilege of an education it would show results that not only whites can be wealthy but people of color can do it to. A recent study found, “children whose parents are in the top 1 percentof earners are 77 times more likely to attend an Ivy League college than those whose parents are in the bottom income quintile”.

It is very important to examine this concept because we are supposed to be in a generation/ era where everyone is treated equal and has rights. With white privilege still happening on a daily basis, not just in education but in everything else puts everyone that does not fit the criteria to be in a disadvantage towards their futures. Everyone is always judging people of colored because they don’t have a decent job or because they are always asking for help from the government but they have no other option when they can’t even get a good education. They don’t get a good shot of a good education because colleges only take a certain number of colored students to attend colleges and the other ones are left out to figure it out themselves. No color person would ever have a chance to go to college when there is white students trying to get in the same college. Colleges are always trying to have their colleges be represented by whites.

If it’s not a college not accepting them it will always be a discrimination towards the minority. Let’s say they get accepted into a good college in most of the cases they will end up dropping off because of the privilege the white students have over them. If the professor is white then there will always be a preference towards the white students. This whole white privilege isn’t the problem but the way they take advantage of the system to get what they want and leaving the ones that are not like them behind to fail.

The education system should be using the opportunity to have a more diverse community between the school. As students of color try to fit in and adjust to this corrupt education system they are seen as not important. Their voices are not being heard, not because they are wrong but only because they don’t look a certain way and making it seem like contrary to education.

This then leads to the question “Is college worth it?”. When it comes to family it does because parents always want their kids to have the best education out there and if that’s going to the most expensive college parents will send their kids there. But on the other hand, for those that don’t have the money of that luxury to send their kids to an expensive college aren’t left to deal with is it worth it. Sometimes the students are the ones dropping off because there minds are on the side just because im not white then no college would accept me or because of my color I will get treated different. If you take a look at today's society you would see minorities working in a fast food restaurant or a job that doesn’t require them to have a degree because they are just trying to adjust to this unfair life.

Structural racism is “The most prevalent form of racism because of how it pervades every level of society by incorporating the institutional, historical, cultural, and interpersonal practices within a society that perpetuate racial inequalities therefore evaluating society as a whole” (dictionary). White privilege is a great example of structural racism because it gives whites privilege while putting everyone of color in adverse outcomes. This started with laws in education system that created unequal rights. Higher education is offered to those that have the money and privilege to go to an expensive college where those who don’t have to deal with not having the same education and having less programs offered. Nothing should determine what classes or what education students get but the determination of the school. But this problem is just being faced with students of color and not having the opportunity the white skin students have in having an education.

In conclusion white privilege has been a big issue for years. Having privilege just because of the color of your skin has affected the minorities with opportunities. It leaves everyone but whites to try making a living with the leftovers. Colleges have to change the way their system works and making it an even platform for everyone to get admitted into the college of the students choice. White privilege has been an issue in the education system because it gives white students a better opportunity to have a brighter future while leaving those of color behind.


  1. https://study.com/academy/lesson/what-is-white-privilege-definition-examples-statistics.html
  2. https://www.dictionary.com/
  3. https://www.choices.edu/video/structural-racism-affect-education-united-states/
  4. Baumgartner, L. M., & Johnson‐Bailey, J. (2010). Racism and white privilege in adult education graduate programs: Admissions, retention, and curricula. New Directions for Adult and Continuing Education, 2010(125), 27-40.
  5. Smith, D. G. (2015). Diversity's promise for higher education: Making it work. JHU Press
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