It is difficult to find colleges that will be both affordable and supportive.
Only 23% of high-achieving, low-income students apply to a selective school. (Source: Jack Kent Cooke Foundation)
One third of public institutions underestimate living expenses by nearly $3,000, leaving students surprised by a high level of cost they are not prepared for. (Source: Goldrick-Rab, Paying the Price.)
The complex financial aid system makes it challenging to secure financial support.
As many as 2 million students who are eligible for federal grants don't apply for financial aid each year. This is largely due to lack of awareness and complexity of the process. (Source: Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.)
Pell recipients are often required to complete extra paperwork for FAFSA verification. Confusion and complexity of this process is a leading cause of summer melt, where as many as 40% of college-intending students never make it to campus in the fall. (Source: Castleman & Page, Summer Melt.)
Students must balance an often overwhelming combination of academics, job, and family support.
Half of Pell recipients work while attending college, on average working 25 hours a week.
13% of college students routinely provide financial support to their families.
(Source: Goldrick-Rab, Paying the Price.)
With very little free time, it's almost impossible for under-resourced students to proactively seek help.
Students often struggle in isolation. Without an understanding of college norms or the resources available on campus, students are poorly equipped to articulate their challenges and search for a person or program that can help. (Source: Moneythink Financial Need & Ownership Report.)
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.
Read how financially insecure students prepare and tackle financial challenges and what we can do to set them up to be better equipped throughout their college careers.
We're working on a solution.
Understanding the problem is just the first step. Learn what we're doing to grow opportunity.