NotesFAQContact Us
Search Tips
Peer reviewed Peer reviewed
Direct linkDirect link
ERIC Number: EJ851414
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2009
Pages: 26
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 68
ISSN: ISSN-0022-1546
Finding Money on the Table: Information, Financial Aid, and Access to College
Tierney, William G.; Venegas, Kristan M.
Journal of Higher Education, v80 n4 p363-388 Jul-Aug 2009
The authors do not quarrel with the assumption that increasing financial aid would boost college going. Yet a conundrum exists. Some state agencies have the potential to provide more resources than what college-bound students request. The federal government also has an excess of money in various aid programs. Of course, the authors do not ignore the reality that it does not make sense to allot more money than might be needed--budget surpluses are as unwelcome as budget deficits. However, the possibility that students who are truly qualified for aid but do not receive it, set off alarms that precipitate further inquiry. Not only are there students who miss out on higher levels of financial aid because they are not adequately academically prepared, but there are also those who are eligible and who qualify for aid but do not apply for it. At a time when most scholars advise that postsecondary education is necessary for gainful employment, why are academically qualified low-income students not drawing on available funds for a college education? To help answer this question and inform the discussion about financial aid the authors offer an additional framework for consideration--what they call the "cultural ecological model." The cultural ecological model builds upon what is known about how students make (or do not make) the decision to go to college. In this case, the model focuses on financial aid access and the contexts that affect aid availability. The authors' work, like the work of many of others (Perna, 2007; St. John, 2003, 2005, 2006, forthcoming; Tierney & Venegas, forthcoming; Wooden, forthcoming) suggest that there are multiple environmental influences that play a role in access to financial aid. They posit that the ideas that flow from such a model may help to increase college going. They first offer an overview of the literature and discuss the theoretical framework driving the research. Then they delineate financial aid programs in three states with different types of funding programs--California, Nevada, and Kansas--to demonstrate that students and families lack information about how much college costs and how to access aid for college. (Contains 1 figure.)
Ohio State University Press. 180 Pressey Hall, 1070 Carmack Road, Columbus, OH 43210-1002. Tel: 614-292-1407; Fax: 614-292-2065; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: California; Indiana; Kansas; Nevada