Magazine article The Hispanic Outlook in Higher Education

Community Colleges Address Financial Barriers to Success for Low-Income Students

Magazine article The Hispanic Outlook in Higher Education

Community Colleges Address Financial Barriers to Success for Low-Income Students

Article excerpt

WASHINGTON, D.C.

Do low-income college students who receive public benefits stay in school longer and complete their studies faster? A new initiative that will launch next summer at select community colleges will test this notion and work to provide models that other community colleges can implement and sustain.

The three-year $4.84 million initiative, Benefits Access for College Completion (BACC) , is led by the Center for Law and Social Policy (CLASP) and the American Association of Community Colleges (AACC) with funding from the Ford Foundation, Kresge Foundation, Lumina Foundation, and the Open Society Foundations. The Annie E. Casey Foundation is also contributing to the initiative.

"We are committed to student completion and appreciate the major investment these foundations are making," AACC President Walter G. Bumphus said. "Their collaborative vision will help community colleges identify the best ways for students to access the benefits and services they need to finish what they start."

Of the close to eight million credit students annually attending community colleges, 46 percent currently receive some form of financial aid (state, federal or institutional). The additional benefits the students might access through BACC include a range of federal programs, such as those that provide health insurance, food and child care. …

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