Many low-income students don’t go to college because they lack information about how to apply for the financial aid that would make it possible, according to a study by Pew Charitable Trusts’ Economic Mobility Project.
Lack of information about how much college really costs and the complexity of paperwork involved in applying for financial aid deter many low-income students from applying to college, the report said. That is a significant problem, because postsecondary education is especially important for young people as a way out of poverty, the report said.
“Without knowledge about available aid, or how to access it, the sticker shock of rising published prices can scare many students off before they even apply,” one of the report’s co-authors, Ron Haskins of the Brookings Institution, said in a statement when the report was released on May 12.
Harry Holzer and Bob Lerman of the Urban Institute teamed with Mr. Haskins as co-authors of the study.
The authors suggest that policymakers find ways to ensure effective guidance for students in applying to and paying for college, and to boost their academic preparation so they are more likely to succeed.
A version of this article appeared in the May 20, 2009 edition of Education Week