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More Low-Income Students Attending College

JUNE 25, 2019

A new report claims more poor students than ever are enrolling in American colleges and universities, but a disproportionate number are attending less selective or open-access institutions, which may hinder their chances for earning a bachelor's degree.  A new report from the Pew Research Firm released on May 23 found that the overall number of undergraduates at U.S. colleges and universities has increased during the past 20 years, with students of color and those from low-income families making up much of the growth.  Those students are mostly attending the less-selective colleges and universities, which tend to have fewer resources to help the students succeed.  

The total share of undergraduate students who come from poor families increased by 12 percent in 1996 to 20 percent in 2016, according to the report.  The number of undergraduates who are nonwhite has increased from 29 percent in 1996 to 47 percent in 2016.  The report focused on the financial status of dependent students who are under the age of 23, unmarried and childless.  

Larry J. McKinney
Higher Education Consultant
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