Students struggle to afford college tuition when universities fail to meet their financial needs. A recent report by Steven Burd, a policy analyst at New America, revealed that this particularly affects low-income students. Burd found that hundreds of schools expect families making $30,000 to pay more than half their salary in tuition. Many of these schools are private nonprofit colleges.
Some schools don’t have large enough endowments to support all students, yet many award merit-based scholarships to wealthier students. The hope is that merit aid will bring in students who can afford the difference. Schools also use this as a tactic to raise the rankings of the school and build their prestige.
The government tries to meet student need by awarding federal Pell Grants to qualifying students, but many schools aren’t meeting government projects halfway. The report suggests that the federal government should reward schools that make an effort to cut costs for low-income students. It could also require schools who neglect low-income populations to match a portion of their students’ Pell Grants.
Schools and nonprofits can work harder to help students identify and connect with the financial resources they need to afford college. Research shows that text messaging is a low-cost strategy to accomplish this.
Read the full report of Undermining Pell: Volume III: The News Keeps getting Worse for Low-Income Students for free by clicking below:
About the author: Jessica is a senior at the George Washington University, where she’s studying marketing. She’s the Business Development Intern and keeps the team updated on the latest mobile trends for college students.