Saturday, June 26, 2010

More Federal Aid Needed for Low-Income College Students, Report Finds

The Advisory Committee on Student Financial Assistance, an independent committee that advises Congress and the secretary of education on national policy, presented a report in Washington on Friday that did not bode well for low-income college students seeking degrees.

The report, entitled “The Rising Price of Inequality” sent a clear message to the federal government: without a broad increase in need-based state and federal aid, fewer low-income students will have the resources to remain enrolled in college and earn degrees over the next decade.

Furthermore, as the Chronicle of Higher Education reports that the financial burden of a college education has grown to take up a larger portion of a family’s income, with four years at a public college costing 48 percent—almost half—of a low-income family’s annual income in 2007. A four-year education was 41 percent of a low-income family’s earnings in 1992.

This is bad news for low-income students, but also could delay President Obama’s goal of having the United States produce the most college graduates by 2020, according to the authors of the report.

“Recent progress in increasing need-based federal grant aid is encouraging, but must be greatly intensified and broadened,” the report reads. “At a minimum, federal policy must seek to ensure that states and public colleges hold Pell Grant recipients harmless against increases in cost of attendance, through increases in state and institutional need-based grant aid.”

The authors also recommended a national experiment to gauge how college access would be impacted by
increasing opportunities for loan forgiveness and income-based repayment options, the Chronicle reported.

Read full article by clicking HERE

The Rising Price of Inequality