New York Free College Tuition Program

New York’s free-tuition program will help traditional, but not typical, students, By David W. Chen, April 11, 2017, New York Times: “The program to provide free tuition for students at New York State’s public colleges and universities passed on Friday by the Legislature has been hailed as a breakthrough and a model for other states that will change the lives of students at public colleges across the state. The Excelsior Scholarship, as the program is called, is expected to cut the cost of a degree from a four-year State University of New York college — now almost $83,000 for tuition, fees and room and board — by about $26,000 for an eligible family making $100,000 a year. That is a substantial reduction, but still means paying about $57,000 over four years…”

State Community College Affordability

The student debt crisis at state community colleges, By Sophie Quinton, May 10, 2016, Stateline: “Community colleges charge lower tuition than just about anywhere else. They’re open to everyone. They offer the kind of technical training employers want. And they can serve as an affordable steppingstone to a four-year degree. As President Barack Obama said in the fall: ‘They’re at the heart of the American Dream.’  But while plenty of community college students graduate with a degree that leads to a better job, or to a four-year college, many community college students drop out. And a growing number of students are taking on debt they cannot repay…”

College Affordability

As college prices soar, poorest students fall further behind, By Stacy Teicher Khadaroo, April 29, 2016, Christian Science Monitor: “Hundreds of food pantries cropping up on college campuses offer one stark symbol of the gulf between the experiences of rich and poor as they reach for the American dream.  It symbolizes a fundamental challenge facing US families: Even as students from all income backgrounds agree they need it, higher education is getting harder and harder to afford.  In fact, one newly released study suggests the gap in college attainment between students at the top and bottom of the income scale has been widening…”

Colleges and Low-Income Students

  • Are colleges doing enough to support low-income students?, By Lucy Schouten, March 24, 2016, Christian Science Monitor: “Breaking the cycle of poverty can start with admission to college, but it doesn’t end with just getting in.  A report by the US Department of Education describes practical strategies for the federal government, states, and the institutions themselves to help with recruiting – and graduating – students from low-income backgrounds…”
  • A new approach to increasing low-income college grads, By Amy Scott, March 24, 2016, Marketplace: “Just over a decade ago, low-income students at Georgia State University graduated at barely half the rate of other students. Today that gap is closed, thanks to initiatives like more intensive advising and grants of as little as $300 to cover unmet financial need.  Meanwhile, the ASAP program at City University of New York nearly doubled completion rates for community college students, by giving them more academic support…”
  • Do financial aid policies make paying for college harder for some?, By Corey Fedde, March 18, 2016, Christian Science Monitor: “College is getting more expensive – especially for low income students.  On Tuesday, a study released findings that low income students face significant challenges meeting the financial requirements to attend many private universities and an increasing number of public universities, despite financial aid.  The study was the third report in a multi-year series from The New America Foundation’s Education Policy Program. Together, the studies suggest the issue is getting worse…”

Homeless College Students

How to help the students with no homes?, By Kelly Field, August 24, 2015, Chronicle of Higher Education: “The scars on Christine Banjo’s arms are still there — faint marks from the bed bugs that bit her when her family was living in a motel room during her high-school years. ‘Battle wounds,’ she calls them: a faded but constant reminder that the college junior has been chronically homeless since she was 7. During the school year, Ms. Banjo, who is 20, lives in the dorms at Norfolk State University. But on summer vacation and during other breaks, she has no set place to go. There’s no room for her in the rooming house where her parents live, so she crashes with friends or sublets space in a cramped apartment. Most days, her only meal is the sandwich and fries she gets during her shift at McDonald’s. She returns there on her days off just to have something to eat…”

AP Test Support for Low-Income Students

Education Department awards grants to defray costs of AP tests, By Lauren Camera, August 12, 2015, Education Week: “In a push to prepare more low-income students for college or a career, the U.S. Department of Education Wednesday awarded $28.4 million in grants to help defray the cost of taking advanced placement (AP) tests…”

Homeless College Students

Homeless college students navigate uncertainty, By Ted Gregory, May 18, 2015, Chicago Tribune: “This month, with a mix of anxiety and exhilaration, college students across the country will cram their brains for final exams, then pack their bags for home.  It’s a little different for undergraduates Malachi Hoye and Caprice Manny. They don’t have homes to return to — at least not in the traditional sense. Hoye and Manny are among the estimated 56,000 college students nationwide who are considered homeless.  Those young people are a somewhat broadly defined population that experts say is underreported, gaining more attention and expected to grow. But formal efforts to accommodate homeless college students are relatively new and fragmented: Schools, the federal government, a fledgling national organization — even a pilot project by a Humboldt Park nonprofit — are among the entities trying to solve a complicated challenge…”

Foster Care Youth and Post-Secondary Education

Colorado senator’s bill aims to get youth from foster care, into college, By Jenny Brundin, February 10, 2015, Colorado Public Radio: “State Sen. Linda Newell meets a lot of youth in foster care. One day one of them posted a message on her Facebook page. ‘And [it] said, you’ve got to take a look into this,’ recalls the Littleton Democrat.  ‘This’ refers to the dismal figures, confirmed by a University Northern Colorado study last fall, on the number of foster youth graduating from high school…”

College Completion Gap

  • In earning college degrees, gap between rich and poor has grown, study finds, By Michael Muskal, February 3, 2015, Los Angeles Times: “The education gap between rich and poor continues to grow, becoming a chasm of opportunity that often blocks the search for a better economic life, according to a report released Tuesday. The study, titled ‘Indicators of Higher Education Equity in the United States,’ was prepared by two groups that analyze college costs and degree attainment. The groups are the Alliance for Higher Education and Democracy (AHEAD) at the University of Pennsylvania graduate school of education; and the Pell Institute for the Study of Opportunity in Higher Education, a research institute in Washington…”
  • Big gap in college graduation rates for rich and poor, study finds, By Melissa Korn, February 3, 2015, Wall Street Journal: “College completion rates for wealthy students have soared in 40 years but barely budged for low-income students, leading to a yawning gap in educational attainment between rich and poor that could have long-lasting implications for the socioeconomic divide. In 2013, 77% of adults from families in the top income quartile earned at least bachelor’s degrees by the time they turned 24, up from 40% in 1970, according to a new report from the University of Pennsylvania’s Alliance for Higher Education and Democracy and the Pell Institute for the Study of Opportunity in Higher Education. But 9% of people from the lowest income bracket did the same in 2013, up from 6% in 1970…”

Low-Income College Students

  • Minority, low-income college grad rates lag, By Chris Kenning, November 20, 2014, Louisville Courier-Journal: “Kentucky is lagging in its efforts to increase graduation rates among poor, minority and under-prepared college students, according to the Council on Postsecondary Education’s latest accountability report. The annual report, to be discussed by the council at a meeting Friday, showed a six-year graduation rate of 49 percent among bachelor’s degree-seeking students in 2012-13, the latest data available.  But among minority students, the rate was just 33 percent, a decline from 37 percent in 2009-10. It was 28 percent among under-prepared students and increased slightly among low-income students to 37 percent…”
  • Report finds economic gaps for Colorado students attending top schools, By Yesenia Robles, November 18, 2014, Denver Post: “High school graduates from well-off families are nearly 12 times more likely to go to a top college than students from low-income households, according to a report released Tuesday by a group of local nonprofits. ‘We must recognize that different colleges provide different experiences for students, and, if we as a society value equal opportunity as we say we do, it’s critical that Colorado’s low-income students have the same access to elite colleges as their wealthier peers,’ said Van Schoales, CEO of A+ Denver in a released statement. The report, ‘Missing the Bus,’ looked at Colorado high-school graduates from 2010 through 2012 and tracked what college they enrolled in. The report classified top-tier schools using existing ranking systems, including one by U.S. News & World Report…”

Colleges and Low-Income Students

  • Michigan colleges look to boost low-income enrollment, By Kim Kozlowski, October 28, 2014, Detroit News: “Donna Aguilar’s parents, who couldn’t afford to go to college, always encouraged her to make a better life for herself. So four years ago, Aguilar left her home in Los Angeles to attend Kalamazoo College. She will graduate next year with a biology degree. ‘They thought I would have more choices if I went to college,’ said Aguilar, the daughter of a custodian and a factory worker. ‘I would get a better job than they have and I could live more comfortably than they had.’ Aguilar represents a quiet revolution that has been underway at Kalamazoo College…”
  • A new push to get low-income students through college, By David Leonhardt, October 28, 2014, New York Times: “The United States fails to do right by most low-income students who excel in school. They overcome long odds and do well enough in high school to show they can thrive in college. Nevertheless, many never receive a bachelor’s degree. Now, though, the country may be approaching something of a turning point. As data has made clear how many top-performing students from poor and middle-class families fall through the cracks, a range of institutions has set out to change the situation. Dozens of school districts, across 15 states, now help every high school junior take the SAT. Delaware’s governor has started a program to advise every college-qualified student from a modest background on the application process. The president of the College Board, which administers the SAT and has a decidedly mixed record on making college more accessible, says his top priority is college access…”

Poor Students, Elite Colleges

Generation later, poor are still rare at elite colleges, By Richard Pérez-Peña, August 25, 2014, New York Times: “As the shaded quadrangles of the nation’s elite campuses stir to life for the start of the academic year, they remain bastions of privilege. Amid promises to admit more poor students, top colleges educate roughly the same percentage of them as they did a generation ago. This is despite the fact that there are many high school seniors from low-income homes with top grades and scores: twice the percentage in the general population as at elite colleges…”

AP Test Support for Low-Income Students

U.S. Helps Bear Costs of Advanced Placement Tests for Low-Income Students, By Caroline Porter, August 12, 2014, Wall Street Journal: “The federal government said Tuesday that it provided $28.4 million in grants to 40 states, as well as the District of Columbia and the Virgin Islands, to offset the costs of giving advanced placement tests to low-income students. By helping high-school students earn college credits, the program is intended to improve college completion rates and better prepare students. The allotment helped cover more than 769,000 tests nationally in 2014, marking a 6% increase over the previous year, according to the Department of Education…”

College Access and Inequality

College cost isn’t poor students’ big problem, By Christopher Flavelle, July 28, 2014, Bloomberg View: “To judge by this summer’s banner policy proposals, the most important question for higher-education reform right now is giving students easier access to loans. But evidence from Canada suggests those changes won’t address the greater need: Getting more kids from poor families into college, the key to moving up in an increasingly unequal society. In research published last year, a team of American and Canadian economists compared the connection between family income and college or university attendance in the two countries. . .”

College Graduation Gap

Who gets to graduate? By Paul Tough, May 18, 2014, New York Times: “For as long as she could remember, Vanessa Brewer had her mind set on going to college. The image of herself as a college student appealed to her — independent, intelligent, a young woman full of potential — but it was more than that; it was a chance to rewrite the ending to a family story that went off track 18 years earlier, when Vanessa’s mother, then a high-achieving high-school senior in a small town in Arkansas, became pregnant with Vanessa. Vanessa’s mom did better than most teenage mothers. She married her high-school boyfriend, and when Vanessa was 9, they moved to Mesquite, a working-class suburb of Dallas, where she worked for a mortgage company. Vanessa’s parents divorced when she was 12, and money. . .”