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ERIC Number: ED556725
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2014-Apr
Pages: 48
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 77
College Affordability for Low-Income Adults: Improving Returns on Investment for Families and Society. Report #C412
Gault, Barbara; Reichlin, Lindsey; Román, Stephanie
Institute for Women's Policy Research
This report examines how efforts to understand and improve college affordability can be informed by the experiences and circumstances of low-income adults, students of color, and students with dependent children. The report discusses how the time and financial demands associated with financial independence, parenthood, and work affect a student's ability to invest in college, and how segregation in college majors diminishes returns on investment for low-income students. The following recommendations for improving affordability and returns on investment are included in this report: (1) Create systems and tools to help women and students of color select majors that prepare them for high-paying careers; (2) Shift federal and state systems of financial aid to more accurately and completely account for student financial need--to help apportion more aid to students who need it the most; (3) Develop more student and campus supports that acknowledge the multiple demands in students' lives, which often include substantial work and care-giving obligations; (4) Expand efforts to help students access publicly provided benefits, such as the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC), TANF, WIC, and child care subsidies; and (5) Develop more targeted scholarships and campus supports for the many students with dependent care obligations, such as inclusive campus policies, programs to increase social connectedness and reduce isolation, health supports, and single-parent housing, in addition to child care support. Ideally, any interventions to shift institutional and consumer knowledge and incentives should be examined from the perspectives of how they will affect women and communities of color, populations that have disproportionate time constraints, dependent care obligations, and poorer labor market outcomes at all educational levels.
Institute for Women's Policy Research. 1200 18th Street NW, Suite 301, Washington, DC 20036. Tel: 202-833-4362; Fax: 202-785-5100; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education; Adult Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: Lumina Foundation
Authoring Institution: Institute for Women's Policy Research (IWPR)