New Report Looks at Ways to Improve Students’ College Completion

While college enrollment is up, college completion is not. Roughly 40% of all students pursuing a bachelor’s degree don’t graduate and affordability is the number one reason students don’t complete their degree, leaving them saddled with debt and without the increased capacity to pay it back. To address this alarming trend, uAspire, a national nonprofit working to remove financial barriers to higher education for low-income students, recently published “Affording to Finish: Strategies to Improve Students’ Financial Health & College Completion.

This report recommends several strategies to reduce students’ risk of dropping out of college by:

  • Identifying the financial challenges low-income students face and innovative strategies to address them
  • Highlighting 11 case studies, “Promising Practices,” of pilots implemented by colleges to promote student financial well-being and completion
  • Reviewing an expanded list of related resources in a comprehensive annotated bibliography for further exploration

Making sure your students understand their financial aid packages, college costs, and how to pay for them is critical to setting them up for success. But college affordability isn’t just the money it takes to start college, it’s also how much it costs to finish. Make sure your students are aware of their future financial commitments, the challenges they may face, and the institutional resources available if they need support.

Through their direct service work with high school and college students, uAspire sees firsthand how difficult it can be to pay the college bill and manage college costs, especially for students from low-income families. In addition to student advising, uAspire offers college affordability training to [link] school counselors so they can better help their students prepare, afford, and succeed in college.