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Despite COVID Recession, Financial Aid Out of Reach for Disadvantaged Students

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Image credit: educationusa.state.gov

A recent study by the University of Michigan found that while college costs have continued to climb, financial aid isn’t reaching eligible students.

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The price of four year universities in the country have continued to climb over the years, making it more difficult for many families to afford the costs.

That’s the conclusion of a recent study conducted by University of Michigan that found that less students are applying for financial aid, meaning fewer low-income students are applying.

We would actually want more people to be applying for need based aid this year than last in order to maintain affordability for college.” — Kevin Stange, University of Michigan

The study examined publicly-reported financial aid application completion data from over 900 schools in Michigan. The researchers found that disadvantaged schools receiving targeted resources through Title I designation actually had lower completed requests compared with with non-Title I schools — a gap that widened by 3 percentage points, according to a summary of the report. 


Click on the player above to hear why low-income students are facing affordability challenges in attending college and university.


Kevin Stange, an associate professor of Public Policy at the University of Michigan, says that the COVID-19 pandemic and resulting economic crisis has made the college affordability challenge more pressing than ever. 

We know that families are really struggling financially because of COVID and so this means that college is going to be less affordable for more families,” Stange says. “We would actually want more people to be applying for need based aid this year than last in order to maintain affordability for college.”

He says that low-income students may lack the pathways to higher education. 

It can be hard for students to transfer from community colleges,” says Stange, ”It’s becoming increasingly important that we’re gonna have to improve those transfer pathways from community colleges.”

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Tia Graham, Reporter / Anchor

Tia Graham is a Reporter/Anchor for 101.9 WDET Detroit’s NPR station. Keeping busy, Tia loves to workout whenever she gets the chance.


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