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ERIC Number: ED520199
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2011-Jun
Pages: 20
Abstractor: ERIC
Priced out: How the Wrong Financial-Aid Policies Hurt Low-Income Students
Lynch, Mamie; Engle, Jennifer; Cruz, Jose L.
Education Trust
This report demonstrates how much low-income students must stretch to pay for college, even after grant aid is taken into account. This report finds that just five of the nation's nearly 1,200 four-year colleges and universities have student bodies that are at least 30 percent low-income and offer low-income students a reasonable chance at a bachelor's degree at an relatively affordable cost. The result? Far too many low-income students are priced out of higher education. The average low-income family must contribute an amount roughly equivalent to 72 percent of its annual household income each year just to send one child to a four-year college. Meanwhile, middle-class and high-income families contribute amounts equivalent to just 27 percent and 14 percent of their yearly earnings, respectively. Budget-balancing battles at the state and federal levels threaten to make this bad situation even worse, by cutting grant aid for low-income students. For example, the Pell Grant Program, the cornerstone of federal efforts to make college affordable for these students, faces serious threats in the FY 2012 budget negotiations. The U.S. Senate recently rejected the House of Representatives' move to slash support for the program, yet it remains unclear how Pell ultimately will fare once the Senate finally drafts its own budget. At stake are the dreams of the more than 10 million Americans who rely on Pell to afford college. (Contains 6 tables, 8 figures and 49 notes.)
Education Trust. 1250 H Street NW Suite 700, Washington, DC 20005. Tel: 202-293-1217; Fax: 202-293-2605; Web site:
Publication Type: Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: Policymakers
Language: English
Sponsor: Lumina Foundation for Education
Authoring Institution: Education Trust
Identifiers - Laws, Policies, & Programs: Pell Grant Program
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A