ERIC Number: EJ1051919
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2013-Dec
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 42
Do Single Mothers Take Their Share?: FAFSA Completion among Aid-Eligible Female Students
Radey, Melissa; Cheatham, Leah P.
Journal of Diversity in Higher Education, v6 n4 p261-275 Dec 2013
Approximately 17% of college students are single mothers, a growing and vulnerable subpopulation of women (Miller, Gault, & Thorman, 2011). Although postsecondary education promotes poverty exit, many single mothers--40% of whom live below the poverty line--lack the financial resources for attendance. The Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) is a first step to accessing aid. This study uses data from the National Postsecondary Student Aid Study (NPSAS:08) to describe and analyze how student characteristics influence FAFSA application rates among low-income, aid-eligible women and consider how student status (single mother, other independent, or dependent student), race/ethnicity, and poverty level intersect to influence application rates. Descriptive findings showed that almost four-fifths of students filed FAFSAs, with 87% of single mothers doing so. Logistic regression results indicate that single mothers' FAFSA completion advantage disappears and becomes a disadvantage after considering economic and nontraditional characteristics. Significant interactions between poverty level and student status reveal that the poorest aid-eligible single mothers filed at lower than expected rates. Findings support two policy recommendations: FAFSA simplification and targeted personal application assistance.
Descriptors: Federal Aid, Student Financial Aid, Females, Eligibility, One Parent Family, Mothers, Poverty, Student Characteristics, Racial Differences, Influences, Regression (Statistics), Interaction, Postsecondary Education, Access to Education, College Students, At Risk Students, Statistical Analysis, Family Structure, Enrollment, Institutional Characteristics, Educational Attainment, Nontraditional Students
American Psychological Association. Journals Department, 750 First Street NE, Washington, DC 20002. Tel: 800-374-2721; Tel: 202-336-5510; Fax: 202-336-5502; e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org; Web site: http://www.apa.org
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Postsecondary Education; Higher Education
Authoring Institution: N/A