Financing College Success
Innovations to Promote Readiness, Access, and Completion
While student debt dominates the current headlines, the financial road to college success is built long before debt piles up. It turns out that the financial lives of pre-secondary students significantly impacts college readiness, access, affordability, and degree completion. In the process of gearing up for college and earning a degree, there is a role for savings, loans, public benefits, and financial aid. Since children can perceive college as financially out of reach as early as the 5th grade, the work of increasing post-secondary achievement and meeting our national college completion goals must begin well before they reach the Bursar’s office.
A number of innovative programs are underway to break down barriers to college, get students thinking about higher education from a young age, and meet students's financial needs during their college career. These include efforts to offer savings accounts in primary school, connect them with public benefits and services, and provide access to responsible loans and financial aid. Federal policy efforts should be exploring ways to leverage this work.
What steps can schools, colleges, policymakers, and communities take to support the academic achievement of lower-income students? What policy interventions can build expectations for college success? What tools are or should be available to help students manage their financial lives?
Please join us and a distinguished panel of experts as we investigate these questions and more.
Willie Elliott III
Assistant Professor, School of Social Work
University of Kansas
Director, Workforce Development
Center for Law and Social Policy
Director, Asset Building Program
New America Foundation