Though movies and television make it seem like a full-ride scholarship will be readily available for nearly every student, reality is starkly different.
Editor’s note: A version of this post was originally published on Admitted in March 2016. It’s being republished as part of NACAC’s Best of the Blog series.
Getting into college is only half the battle for teens living in poverty.
To prove eligibility for financial aid, many colleges ask low-income students to submit a mountain of paperwork — going beyond what is required of their middle- and upper-income peers, NACAC member Joshua Steckel wrote in a 2016 opinion column published by The Boston Globe.
The process is burdensome, he noted. Worst of all, it can discourage talented students from accessing the financial support they need to attend college.
Could “food scholarships” help more students complete college?
Daphne Hernandez, an assistant professor of nutrition and obesity studies at the University of Houston, thinks so.
In a column published this month by Community College Daily, Hernandez noted that an estimated 50 percent of community college students nationwide lack access to healthy and affordable foods.
Planning how to finance a four-year degree has become a more prominent part of the college application process.
A new e-learning course from NACAC is now available to help college counselors and admission officers confidently field financial aid questions from families.
More than just a webinar or educational session, the online course—Financial Aid 101— includes eight easy-to-use learning modules packed with information on subjects like loans, grants, scholarships, and work-study. Informative graphics and videos break down key concepts, while quizzes help you measure your progress.
Low-income students are only one-eighth as likely as their wealthier peers to graduate from college.
This statistic, from a 2015 report by the Association of American Colleges & Universities, is the product of a variety of factors. But one of the biggest driving forces is a lack of information.
So how can colleges and universities clarify financial information to help reduce barriers to higher education for low-income students?
The Jack Kent Cooke Foundation has a few ideas.
The net price of attending college continued to rise in 2017-18, while growth in grant aid slowed, national data shows.
The majority of US parents expect their children to attend college, but most neglect to budget for the costs associated with higher education, national survey data shows.
“Despite the wide array of approaches families might take to build a plan to pay for college, most don’t have a plan,” according to this year’s How America Pays for College study. “Although nearly nine in 10 families have anticipated their child’s college attendance since preschool, fewer than half that many agree they had a plan to pay for all years of college before the student enrolled.”
California residents can now go to community college for free.
Gov. Jerry Brown signed a bill in early October that gives students one year of free tuition at any of state’s 114 community colleges, as long as they are California residents and new students enrolling full-time, CNN reported.
This new legislation expands on what California already offered. Community colleges in the state currently charge residents $46 per credit — amounting to a cost of roughly $1,100 a year for students who enroll full-time.
Nearly half of all respondents in a recent poll said they would give up voting in the next two presidential elections if their student loans would be forgiven.
And while surrendering a fundamental right might seem crazy, the latest numbers on student loan debt are equally staggering.