Beyond Financial Aid: How Colleges Can Strengthen the Financial Stability of Low-Income Students and Improve Student Outcome

Beyond Financial Aid: How Colleges Can Strengthen the Financial Stability of Low-Income Students and Improve Student Outcome

Colleges and universities can improve the academic and life outcomes of low-income students by building a broad, integrated financial support system, a report from the suggests. According to the report, (47 pages, PDF), life issues such as car trouble, reduced work hours or job loss, and interrupted child care can derail a low-income student's academic career. By helping students enroll for public benefits such as nutrition assistance and health care, providing financial and career coaching, and offering campus programs that provide services such as tax preparation, legal, and automotive repair, the report argues, institutions can help improve retention, completion, transfer, and employment rates among their low-income student populations; improve educational equity and affordability; and strengthen ties with the local community. The report outlines six strategies and offers a self-assessment guide for colleges seeking to improve their support for low-income students.