More Low-Income Students Will Miss Out on College Over Next Decade

May 01, 2008

As many as 3.2 million college-ready students will forgo a bachelor’s degree this decade because of financial barriers, says an update to a 2006 report by the Advisory Committee on Student Financial Assistance. The panel, which advises Congress and the U.S. Education Department, had projected a loss of college access for 2.4 million such students in its original report, “Mortgaging Our Future: How Financial Barriers to College Undercut America’s Global Competitiveness.”

The updated figure is based on new data showing that students who graduated from high school in 2004 enrolled in four-year colleges at lower-than-predicted rates, resulting in higher cumulative losses for the decade.

According to the new data, four-year enrollment rates among low-income students who took Algebra II dropped to 40 percent in 2004, down from 54 percent in 1992, while enrollment rates among low-income students who took trigonometry fell from 73 percent to 55 percent over the same period. —Kelly Field