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ERIC Number: ED568379
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2016-Jul-11
Pages: 35
Abstractor: ERIC
Benefits Access for College Completion: Lessons Learned from a Community College Initiative to Help Low-Income Students
Duke-Benfield, Amy Ellen; Saunders, Katherine
Center for Postsecondary and Economic Success
This report analyzes how students were served by Benefits Access for College Completion (BACC), a 2.5-year initiative designed to increase access to public benefits (such as SNAP or Medicaid) for eligible low-income students. These crucial supports reduce students' unmet financial needs and help them finish school. Launched in 2011, BACC funded seven community colleges to develop and implement sustainable policies and practices for embedding benefits access strategies into their operations. This report, "Lessons Learned from a Community College Initiative to Help Low-Income Students," outlines challenges and successes experienced by college sites as well as statewide systems. Among colleges participating in BACC, no two institutions employed the same benefit access strategy. However, all the institutions found that increasing access to public benefits was more effective when combined with other services in which students already engage, such as financial aid, counseling, and advising. In addition, CLASP found that colleges' success with integrating and sustaining benefits depended on: (1) Changes in student flow and business processes; (2) Actions to overcome cultural barriers within the institution; (3) The capacity to produce and use data; (4) The importance of collaboration and teamwork within the colleges; (5) New relationships with local and state benefits agencies; and (6) The need to overcome student stigma. Drawing on data from an evaluation of BACC, the report also demonstrates how increased access to benefits improves student progress toward degree completion. This is especially true for students who bundle multiple benefits while enrolled.
Center for Postsecondary and Economic Success. Available from: CLASP. 1200 18th Street NW Suite 200, Washington, DC 20036. Tel: 202-906-8000; Fax: 202-842-2885; Web site:
Publication Type: Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: Two Year Colleges; Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: Lumina Foundation
Authoring Institution: Center for Law and Social Policy (CLASP), Center for Postsecondary and Economic Success
Identifiers - Location: California; Kentucky; Michigan; New York (New York); Ohio (Cleveland); Pennsylvania
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A