NotesFAQContact Us
Search Tips
ERIC Number: ED499282
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2007
Pages: 35
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 51
Putting Money on the Table: Information Financial Aid and Access to College
Center for Higher Education Policy Analysis, University of Southern California
Research suggests that low-income high school students may opt out of preparing for college, because they believe a postsecondary education is more than they or their parents can afford. At the same time, federal agencies and some state agencies have indicated that every year available student aid goes unused. In response to these misconceptions and the shifts in types of aid available, a variety of programs such as the privately funded "I Have A Dream" project and Indiana's "Twenty-First Century Scholars" program represent efforts to provide what has come to be known as "early commitment aid." The goal of this paper is to understand the divide between available aid, the impact of "early commitment aid" programs, and how students fare in accessing the funds available from various aid programs. Using California, Nevada, and Kansas--three states with varying types of student aid programs--as case examples, two main findings recur: (1) Large disconnects exist for students who need financial aid for college-going and their understanding of what they need to do to access aid; and (2) More money could be brought to each state's financial aid table when more students are successful in maintaining eligibility and completing the financial aid application process. Implications for practice are based on a cultural approach for promoting access to student aid. Suggestions include: (1) The need to understand lives of students and families as they seek student aid; (2) Attention to the inter-relationship of school, home, and other influences; and (3) The creation of a systematic and longitudinal framework for information about financial aid. [This paper was prepared by The Center for Higher Education Policy Analysis, University of Southern California.]
Center for Higher Education Policy Analysis (CHEPA). University of Southern California, Rossier School of Education, 3470 Trousdale Parkway, Waite Phillips Hall 701, Los Angeles, CA 90089-4037. Tel: 213-740-7218; Fax: 213-740-3889; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: Secondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation, Kansas City, MO.
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: California; Indiana; Kansas; Nevada