October 28, 2012
Education is one of the essential components to breaking the poverty cycle, according to studies. However, college completion rates for students from low-income households
continue to be some of the most dismal rates nationwide. According to Spotlight on Poverty
, just 34 percent of students from the lowest income bracket will even enroll in higher education. Of that number, only 11 percent will actually graduate with some sort of degree. Clearly, this is not the pathway to the American Dream that our country’s leaders have envisioned.
If college completion rates are critical to raising families out of poverty in the U.S., something must be done to ensure more students from poor families are able to finish their education. This is the goal of a new three-year initiative from the Center for Law and Social Policy (CLASP) and the American Association of Community Colleges, in cooperation with the Open Society Foundations, as well as the Ford, Lumina, Annie E. Casey and Kresge Foundations. The Foundation Center reports that the Benefits Access for College Completion initiative is up and ready to roll at seven community colleges across the country.
About the Benefits Access for College Completion Initiative
The Benefits Access for College Completion initiative is the latest coordination to improve college completion rates by targeting low-income students
. According to the website for CLASP
, this initiative is designed to point low-income students to the services that will provide the financial support
they need to make it through the college years. The...
June 25, 2012
With tuition on the rise at community colleges
across the country, many prospective college students today are on the lookout for the most affordable options in higher education. Fortunately, the U.S. Department of Education is ready to oblige the bargain hunters, with a list of the most affordable community colleges in the U.S. Peruse the Department of Education’s list of deals to see if one of the schools is in your area.
The College of Affordability and Transparency Center
In an effort to bring affordability back to higher education, the Obama Administration has launched the College of Affordability and Transparency Center
. This website offers a wealth of information about the cost of all types of higher education, with customized reports users can generate based on the information they wish to peruse. The center was created under the Higher Education Opportunity Act of 2008, according to a report at U.S. News and World Report
. U.S. Education Secretary Arne Duncan explains that availability of information like this is critical for helping students find the most affordable solutions in a college education today.
“We want to arm students and parents with the information they need to make smart educational choices,” Duncan told U.S. News and World Report. “Students need to know up front how much college will actually cost them, instead of waiting to find out when the first student loan bill arrives. These lists are a major step forward in unraveling the mystery of higher education pricing.”
In addition to pricing on...read more
June 20, 2012
Community college has traditionally been seen as the affordable option to the four-year college
or university, but rising tuition rates
at community colleges across the country have made some prospective students fear that even these institutions are becoming too expensive. The good news is that there are many options for financing a college education, from work study programs
to Pell grants
. Take a look at these 10 tips for making a community college degree a more affordable option once again.
Many students heading to community college do not realize that scholarships
may be available. This type of financial aid is one of the most desirable because it does not have to be paid back once the degree is earned. Typically, scholarships are tied to specific skills or achievements, such as academics or sports. They are also available for particular areas of study, especially in fields in need of highly trained workers
. Scholarships are also offered based on financial need, race or other factors attributed to the underserved student population.
According to FinAid
, many free databases are available to direct students to specific scholarships for which they might qualify. In some cases, students complete a profile, and the directory will match the students to specific scholarships that complement their skill set or interests. Students are then notified which scholarships met their specifications, so that they can pursue those opportunities.
Pell grants are equally attractive to scholarships because they do not have to be paid back after...read more
March 11, 2012
The Changing Demographic
The report on the Sallie Mae website
, titled, “How America Pays for College 2011,” explains that in the past four years, many families across the country and from all income brackets have shifted from four-year institutions to two-year community colleges. This shift could be a factor in why middle- and high-income families have been able to reduce education costs and take less money from income and savings to pay the price for higher education.
The study found that during the 2009-2010 academic year, 12 percent of high-income families (families making $100,000 or more) sent students to two-year colleges. The following school year, that percentage went up to 22 percent. That increase correlates with a drop in four-year college enrollment during the same time frame, which shifted from 56 percent during the 2009-2010 school year, to just 48 percent the following year. This group also reported paying 18 percent less...read more
February 04, 2008
The College Cost Reduction and Access Act of 2007 ("CCRAA" or the "Act") was enacted to make college more affordable for low- and moderate-income students by phasing in increases in government grants. For example, in 2007 the maximum Pell Grant was limited to $4,310, whereas the maximum for 2012 is $5,400. The Act also decreases interest rates on government-backed loans and even cancels outstanding debt in certain situations. The favorable terms for grants and loans represent an important step forward in achieving universal access to higher education. This report examines the problem of inadequate college assistance, the enactment of the Act, the major provisions affecting college student borrowers, and the funding of the new benefits.
Rising Cost of Higher Education Leads to Massive Student Loan Debt
Federal student aid has not kept pace with the escalating cost of higher education and the reduced state support of public colleges and universities. As a result, some students decide that a college education is out of their reach. Other students and their families borrow increasing amounts to pay tuition and other expenses. Students who graduate with unpaid loans are burdened with thousands of dollars of debt that they must usually begin repaying shortly after graduation. Studies show that about 39 percent of college graduates under the age of 35 say it will take them more than ten years to pay off their loans. For graduates with low- or moderate-paying jobs, the monthly principal and interest due may far exceed their ability to pay.
Attending a...read more
May 14, 2013
Community colleges do not traditionally boast high completion rates, but there are many ideas in the works at schools across the country to bring those rates up. We look at a few that are making headlines today.
About Community College,
Choosing a School,
Student Issues / Attending College,