How Financial Aid Awareness Affects College Access and Success

14272 WordsMar 1, 201258 Pages
Paving the Way: How Financial Aid Awareness Affects College Access and Success Literature Review October 2008 In a time of ever-rising college costs, financial aid is critical to increase college access and success. Federal, state, and institutional aid programs help to ensure that students can afford higher education regardless of economic background. Financial aid is most effective when students and families learn about it early enough to make the right choices and plans about high school coursework, family savings, work and earnings, and college options. This literature review explores the questions of how and when students and families learn about college costs and financial aid, and how the timing and substance of that information…show more content…
ii) Three out of four African-American parents do not identify scholarships as a source of aid, compared to half of White parents. Similarly, 83 percent of Latino parents do not mention grants as a source of aid versus 58 percent of White parents (Sallie Mae Fund and Harris Interactive 2003). Most Latino non-college-going youths can not name one source of financial aid (Zarate and Pachon 2006). iii) Two-thirds of African-American parents and 62 percent of Latino parents say they need more information about how to pay for college, compared to only 44 percent of White parents (Sallie Mae Fund and Harris Interactive 2003). d) Some students have inaccurate perceptions of their eligibility for financial aid. i) Many current and former community college students, especially those from two-parent households, assume that their household income is too high to make them eligible for federal financial aid (Matus-Grossman and Gooden 2002). ii) In California, far fewer Latino students than are eligible actually apply for Cal Grants because they erroneously believe that high grades are required (Zarate and Pachon 2006). iii) Many low-income students who do not apply for financial aid believe that they do not need financial aid. Twenty-nine percent of low-income dependent students and 39 percent of low-income independent students say they did not file a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA)

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