Getting poor kids to good colleges — for $6 per student

Informing low-income, high-achieving students about college options and financial aid is a very cost-effective way to encourage more low-income students to attend top colleges, where they’re more likely to earn a degree, make valuable connections and move up the social and economic ladder. An information program cost $6 per student, financial aid assistance cost $100 per additional student enrolled and increasing Stafford loans costs $20,000 per additional student, estimates Brookings researchers.

Study: Low-income achievers aim low

Low-income, high-scoring students usually don’t apply to selective colleges and universities, even though they’d qualify for financial aid, according to The Missing One-Offs: The Hidden Supply of High-Achieving, Low-Income Students, a working paper by Caroline M. Hoxby and Christopher Avery. Those who do apply are as likely to be admitted and graduate as high-income students.

Among students in the top 10 percent on college-entrance exams, but the bottom quartile in income, those in large, urban districts were the most likely to apply to selective colleges. Larger districts can offer selective or magnet high school that expose disadvantaged students to classmates and teachers with high expectations, Hoxby and Avery speculate.

“Open selective public high schools in more areas to reach more high-flying students,” suggests Amber Winkler on Gadfly.

 

Higher ed ignores adult students’ needs

Only 15 percent of college students are recent high school graduates living on campus.  Colleges and universities must focus on the needs of adult students, who urgently need job training, but don’t need professors with PhDs teaching on the traditional academic calendar.

Also on  Community College Spotlight: The most selective colleges with the fewest low-income students receive the most taxpayer subsidies.

 

Transfers succeed and lead at top colleges

Community college students who transfer to selective colleges  succeed academically and become student leaders, reports a new study.

Southwestern College administrators have stopped the presses for the student newspaper, the Sun, citing a contracting policy that hasn’t been enforced for decades. The fuss over the printing contract is retaliation for covering the administration’s mishaps, claim the student journalists.

It’s all on Community College Spotlight.