ERIC Number: ED453770
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 2001-Feb
Access Denied: Restoring the Nation's Commitment to Equal Educational Opportunity. A Report of the Advisory Committee on Student Financial Assistance.
Advisory Committee on Student Financial Assistance, Washington, DC.
Three interrelated factors have combined to produce what is rapidly becoming a crisis in access to higher education. In the first place, the cost of higher education has risen steadily as a percentage of family income only for low-income families, but middle-income affordability and merit have begun to displace access as the focus of policymakers at the federal, state, and institutional levels. This shift in policy priorities has caused a steep increase in the unmet need of low-income students. In response to the excessive levels of unmet need, low-income students must abandon plans for full-time, on-campus attendance and attend part-time, work long hours, and borrow heavily. This pattern produces an income-related widening in participation, persistence, and completion gaps over the next 15 years. Solving the access problem for today's students and averting an access crisis for tomorrow's students will require promoting policies that enhance access for low-income students. Using the federal student aid programs as its primary tool, the federal government must reinstate the traditional access goal, refocus policy on unmet need, and expand grant aid. One key to a broad access strategy will be restoring the access partnership of federal government, states, and institutions that has eroded over the past decades. (Contains 17 figures and 17 references.) (SLD)
Publication Type: Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: Advisory Committee on Student Financial Assistance, Washington, DC.