Financial challenge is the critical barrier for college graduation.

When students are unprepared for the financial decisions of college, unforeseen problems get in the way.

The affordability of college options for low-income students varies enormously, but there are no easy ways for students to differentiate between affordable quality colleges versus expensive schools with poor outcomes.

Out of 100 low-income high school graduates, only 16 will complete a bachelors degree in 6 years.

The Pell Institute

How financial barriers affect opportunity

It is difficult to find colleges that will be both affordable and supportive.
The complex financial aid system makes it challenging to secure financial support.
Students must balance an often overwhelming combination of academics, job, and family support.
With very little free time, it's almost impossible for under-resourced students to proactively seek help.
After interviewing over 90 students on 7 different University and College campuses in 2016, we published our report, 'Financial Need and Ownership: Student Perspectives on Postsecondary Persistence,' to share our findings.

We're working on a solution.

Understanding the problem is just the first step. Learn what we're doing to grow opportunity.

See Our Work