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What are the challenges low-income young adults face in accessing and using financial aid for post-secondary education, and how can students overcome these barriers? Working with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, FSG explores these obstacles and opportunities.

Top Takeaways

  1. The most cited challenges to financial aid access include a complex system, unpredictable packages, less access for community college students, under-resourced financial aid offices, and less availability of support that fosters completion.
  2. Just 40% of students from families in the lowest income quartile obtain post-secondary degrees within 6 years, compared to 68% of those from families in the highest income quartile.
  3. Foundations can help by supporting key existing aid channels, innovating aid access and delivery, and expanding the amount of aid in the system.
If low-income young adults are to have the resources necessary to complete their degrees, we will need to create a more streamlined, predictable, and equitable financial aid system than the one we have now.