NCPA - National Center for Policy Analysis

Panel Concludes Students Need More College Aid

June 27, 2002

A committee formed to advise Congress and the Secretary of Education contends that students need more financial assistance if they are to attend college. It's the only sector of the economy where costs are increasing at twice the rate of inflation.

Among the report's findings:

  • This year, 406,000 qualified high school graduates won't be able to go to a four-year college -- and 168,000 won't go to college at all because they can't afford it.
  • A student from a $25,000 annual income household still lacks $3,800 a year even after taking advantage of grants, loans and work-study programs.
  • Families of low-income students work and borrow an average of $7,500 a year for a public four-year college.

But the government has boosted Pell grants by $3.3 billion over two years to keep up with inflation.

Thomas Kane, UCLA policy studies and economics professor, makes the point that students are not investigating aid programs already in existence. Some 43 percent of low-income students don't talk to college representatives about financial assistance.

Source: Tracey Wong Briggs, "Do the Math: High Cost Locks Kids Out of Colleges," USA Today, June 27, 2002.

 

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