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Admissions, Choosing A School, Diversity, Low Income Students

Best Colleges for Low-Income Students

No Comments 30 August 2017

Finding an affordable but high-quality college can be challenging for low-income and first-generation students. This article presents lists of public and private 4-year colleges, all of which have a low net price and a high graduation rate for low-income students.

Not only are these colleges affordable for low-income students, but the students are likely to graduate with an affordable amount of debt.

Recommendations

Students should consider a variety of colleges before they begin the application process. Historically, students from low-income backgrounds have applied to too few colleges, often enrolling at institutions that are not a good academic, social and financial fit. This leads to sub-optimal outcomes like low retention and graduation rates and high debt. Students should cast a wide net. Look at private and public institutions, in-state and out-of-state schools, and small and large colleges. Students should be encouraged to learn about colleges and universities you have never heard of before.

Every low-income student should consider their in-state public colleges, as those institutions will often be the most affordable option. In-state public colleges are also a good option because low-income students tend to choose colleges that are close to home. Students may be able to save on college costs by living at home with their families instead of on a college campus.

The net price for public colleges is based on the in-state tuition rates. The net price for out-of-state students may be much higher.

Low-income students should also consider private colleges with low net prices and high graduation rates. In some cases, generous private colleges can have a lower net price than some in-state public institutions.

For both public and private colleges, students should aim to have total student loan debt at graduation that is less than their annual starting salary. If total student loan debt is less than annual income, the student should be able to repay his or her student loans in ten years or less.

Methodology

The lists of public and private colleges were identified using a combination of two factors:

  • Affordable. Affordability was based on the one-year net price for students with a family income of $0 to $30,000, using data from the 2013-14 Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS). The net price is the discounted sticker price, the costs that remain after subtracting average grants, scholarships and other gift aid from the total cost of attendance. Only colleges with a net price under $12,500 were included.
  • Good Outcomes. Outcomes were based on the 6-year graduation rates for Federal Pell Grant recipients, using data from the Education Trust. The Federal Pell Grant is the largest need-based grant program, awarded mostly to low-income students. Only colleges with 6-year graduation rates of 50% or more were included. This ensures that low-income students at these colleges are more likely to graduate than not.

Some colleges were omitted because the Pell Grant recipient graduation rate data were not available. Examples include Brigham Young University – Provo, Columbia University in the City of New York, Cooper Union and Harvard University.

Several colleges with a reputation for serving low-income students did not satisfy the selection criteria because their net price for low-income students was too high.

We present the lists of recommended public and private colleges in two separate articles. The lists are expected to be stable from year to year.

Admissions, Choosing A School, Low Income Students

Economic Mobility in College

No Comments 06 April 2017

A study from the Equality of Opportunity Project revealed that elite colleges are more focused on being affordable to low-income families than expanding college accessibility.

“At elite colleges, the share of students from the bottom 40 percent has remained mostly flat for a decade. Access to top colleges has not changed much, at least when measured in quintiles,” according to the New York Times.

Low-income students admitted to elite institutions do not appear over placed because their earnings end up being similar to those from wealthier families. This finding debunks the concern that attending a selective college might be disadvantageous to low-income students.

Recent trends in college access show a decline in mobility rates at colleges that had high mobility rates and little change in mobility rates at elite colleges, despite their efforts to increase financial aid. This should call for a revaluation of policies at the national, state and college level.

The study recommends “considering changes in admissions criteria, expansions of transfers from the community college system, or outreach efforts targeted at promising students in primary school before they begin applying to college.”

Higher education often is viewed as the pathway to upward income mobility, which leads students to success. Restricted college accessibility could limit or completely stop colleges from promoting economic mobility among students.

Money, Scholarships

Scholarships for Hispanic Students

No Comments 03 April 2017

Scholarships aren’t always based on academics – some celebrate a person’s heritage. Take a look at these scholarships for students of Hispanic descent.

HACU IES Abroad Diversity Scholarship – This scholarship is for students attending Hispanic-Serving institutions that are members of Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities (HACU). The scholarship award amount typically ranges between $2,500 and $5,000. Applicants must hold a minimum 3.3 GPA.

CORE Que Llueva Cafe Scholarship – Undocumented students of Chicano/Latino descent are eligible for this scholarship. The scholarship award amount typically is $500.

Latinos in Technology Scholarship – This scholarship is for students of Hispanic descent who have a declared major in and have been accepted into a STEM program. Students must hold a minimum 2.5 GPA. The award amount for this scholarship typically is $10,000.

La Unidad Latina Foundation Scholarships – College students of Hispanic descent are eligible for this scholarship. The scholarship award amount typically ranges between $500 and $1,000.

Cascajal Foundation Scholarship – This scholarship is for graduating high school students from Houston who are of Columbia descent. Applicants must hold a minimum 2.0 GPA and submit an essay with their application. The award amount for this scholarship typically is $500.

MillerCoors National Scholarship – Incoming college juniors and seniors of Hispanic descent are eligible for this scholarship. Applicants must be studying an eligible major, see website for details. The typical award amount for this scholarship is $3,000.

Danny Gutierrez Memorial Scholarship – This scholarship is for students of Hispanic descent who are studying electronics and/or engineering and need financial assistance to attend college. The award amount for this scholarship varies.

NSHMBA Foundation Scholarship Program – To qualify for this scholarship, applicants must be NSHMBA members and of Hispanic descent. Students must hold a minimum 3.0 GPA. The award amount for this scholarship typically ranges between $2,500 and $10,000.

Rixio Medina & Associates Hispanics in Safety ScholarshipStudents of Hispanic descent pursuing a degree in occupational safety and health or a closely related field are eligible for this scholarship. The award for this scholarship typically is $4,000.

Great Minds in STEM / HENAAC Scholars Program – This scholarship is for students of Hispanic origin who participate in and promote organizations and activities in the Hispanic community. The award amount for this scholarship typically ranges between $500 and $10,000.

Money, Scholarships

Scholarships Expiring in April

No Comments 31 March 2017

The end of the school year will be here before you know it. End the school year on a high note and apply for these scholarships with April deadlines.

American United for Separation of Church and State Student Essay Contest – Applicants must submit an essay about a given topic on church-state separation violations. See website for more details. The award amount ranges between $500 and $1,500. Applications are due April 15.

Notes for the Future Scholarship Program – Students planning to study music in college should check out this scholarship. Applicants must submit a recording of a live performance. Applications are due April 28 and the scholarship award amount is $1,000.

Prevent Texting and Driving Scholarship – Share a text message guide on how to keep your friends safer while driving to be considered for this $5,000 scholarship. Applications are due April 30.

Ruth Lily Poetry Fellowships – Young poets interested pursuing writing are eligible for this scholarship. The award amount for this scholarship is $25,800. Applications are due April 30.

Women in STEM Scholarship ­– This scholarship is for women pursuing an undergraduate or master’s degree in science, technology, engineering or mathematics. Applications are due April 15. The award amount for this scholarship is $3,000.

NSORO Educational Foundation Scholarship Program – High school graduates who have been in foster care for the consecutive 12 months leading up to their 18th birthday, or have been adopted or placed into legal guardianship from foster care after their 16th birthday or have been orphaned for at least one year at the time of their 18th birthday are eligible for this scholarship. Applications are due April 17 and the award amount ranges between $1,000 and $10,000.

A Voice for Animals Contest – This scholarship is for students who have actively participated in programs that promote the humane treatment of animals. The scholarship award amount ranges between $150 and $650. Applications are due April 10.

Gloria Barron Prize for Young Heroes – Students who demonstrate leadership and courage in developing a service project are eligible for this scholarship. Applicants must be nominated by an adult who has an understanding of their project. Applications are due April 15. The scholarship award amount is $5,000.

A Place for Mom Senior Care Innovation Scholarship – This scholarship is for students who are pursuing an associate’s, bachelor’s or graduate-level degree in a medical nursing or social sciences related major and planning on a career that involves working with senior citizens. The scholarship award amount is $1,000 and applications are due April 15.

Ayn Rand “Atlas Shrugged” Essay Contest – Applicants must submit an essay on Ayn Rand’s Atlas Shrugged. Applications are due April 28. The scholarship award amount ranges between $50 and $20,000.

Money, Scholarships

Scholarships for Students with Average GPAs

No Comments 27 March 2017

Students with average GPAs are as capable of winning scholarships as students with high GPAs. Take a look at this list of scholarships for students with GPAs ranging from 3.0 to 3.5.

Thermo Scientific Antibody Scholarship Program – This scholarship is for undergraduate and graduate students with a declared major of biology, chemistry, biochemistry or a related life science field. Applicants must hold a minimum 3.0 GPA. The award amount for this scholarship typically ranges between $5,000 and $10,000.

The Sara Scholarship – This scholarship is for female high school seniors who actively engaging in golf. The typical award amount for this scholarship is $2,000. Applicants are required to hold a minimum 3.2 GPA.

Islamic Scholarship Fund (ISF) Scholarships ­– These scholarships are for Muslim students majoring in an ISF-supported field of study. Students must hold a minimum 3.0 GPA. The award amount for this scholarship typically ranges between $2,000 and $5,000.

AlgaeCal Health Scholarship ­– Applicants must submit a 750-word essay on a healthcare. The award amount for this scholarship typically is $1,000. Students must hold a minimum 3.0 GPA.

Inspire Our Future Scholarship ­– Students studying education or teachers looking to continue their education are eligible for this scholarship. Applicants must hold a minimum 3.50 GPA. The award amount for this scholarship typically is $2,500.

Women in Technology Scholarship (WITS) ­– This scholarship is for female students planning on a career in information technology or a related field. The scholarship award amount typically is $2,500. Applicants are required to hold a minimum 3.0 GPA.

Golden Key Undergraduate Achievement Scholarship – Golden Key members currently enrolled in an undergraduate degree program are eligible for this scholarship. Applicants must hold a minimum 3.5 GPA. The award amount for this scholarship typically is $5,000.

Cory L. Richards Memorial Scholarship Program – This scholarship is for student pursuing an advance degree in public policy or public health. The award amount for this scholarship typically is $15,000. Students must hold a minimum 3.0 GPA.

HACU IES Abroad Diversity Scholarship – Students attending Hispanic-Serving institutions that are members of Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities (HACU) are eligible for this scholarship. Applicants must hold a minimum 3.3 GPA. The scholarship award amount typically ranges between $2,500 and $5,000.

Blacks at Microsoft Scholarships – This scholarship is for African-American high school students who demonstrate a passion for technology. The award amount for this scholarship typically is $5,000. Applicants are required to hold a minimum 3.3 GPA.

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