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Stats Watch

Less Opportunity for Low-income Students

New study reveals low-income students have more difficulty pursuing education goals
University Business, Nov 2004

A new report from the Pell Institute reveals that low-income students have less opportunity for higher education than their middle-income and higher-income counterparts.

The study found that 31 percent of 18- to 24-year-olds whose families earned a yearly income of $25,000 enrolled in or attended college, while 79 percent of students from families that earn $75,000 enrolled or attended college.

Also, the report shows that low-income students are more likely to attend for-profit and two-year institutions and take more time to complete their degrees, if they complete them at all.

One positive trend is that low-income students who do attend college spend the least on higher education. In fact, they spend about half as less in out-of-pocket costs to attend college as do high-income students. This suggests that policies and programs aimed at reducing the cost of higher ed for these students is working and should be continued.

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