Narrowing the college opportunity gap : helping students and families navigate the financial aid process Public Deposited

http://ir.library.oregonstate.edu/concern/graduate_thesis_or_dissertations/44558j72j

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  • The number of students enrolling in post-secondary institutions in the U.S. has slowly been rising over the last 10 years, yet gaps continue to exist in terms of who attends college and persists through graduation. Minority and low income students often lack the guidance needed to navigate the college enrollment process and as a result, remain underrepresented at U.S. colleges and universities. The prospect of attending college is frequently ruled-out based on fears surrounding college costs and lack of awareness and exposure to financial aid programs. This dissertation study looked at the impact of increased school counselor outreach on FAFSA completion and college enrollment in a large urban school district in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Researchers found robust treatment effects on both FAFSA completion .103 (sd=.01) and college enrollment .117 (sd=.01) suggesting a strong correlation between student contact with a school counselor and these two essential tasks for successful college matriculation. The opportunity gap was narrowed for all groups measured with the greatest improvement noted for African American, Asian, and Native American students.
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