STARS Facts and Best Practices: Affordability and Access
With costs for higher education rising continuously, institutions’ affordability and access programs are rapidly becoming a major factor for student success during the college years and beyond. In order for higher education to help society move toward greater equity, institutions must be accessible to diverse populations. February’s STARS Facts and Best Practices blog focuses on PAE Credit 10: Affordability and Access Programs.
Affordability and Access Programs
PAE 10 recognizes institutions that have policies and programs in place to make higher education accessible and affordable for low-income students. Such policies may include:
• Programs to minimize the cost of attendance for low-income students
• Participation in federal TRIO programs
• Programs to guide parents of low-income students through the higher education experience
STARS Facts – Affordability and Access
97 percent of STARS-rated institutions have policies and programs in place to promote accessibility and affordability for low income students. However, these policies and programs differ among institutions.
Of the STARS-rated institutions that submitted for a rating…
- Western University (STARS Silver, August 2011) participates in the Student Access Guarantee program in partnership with the government of Ontario. Under this program, every qualified Ontario student is guaranteed access to Ontario public colleges and universities. Through this guarantee, students’ financial needs not fully met by the Ontario Student Assistance Program (OSAP) are covered by Western University.
- New Mexico State University (STARS Bronze, September 2011) recently began the Red to Green money management program to help students learn to manage their finances. The program was designed by NMSU students themselves thanks to a grant from the Student Success Office. Red to Green is a requirement for all students that have acquired loans to help pay for college.
- Anne Arundel Community College (STARS Silver, November 2011) ranks third among the 16 community colleges in Maryland for lowest tuition and fees. AACC believes that no student should be restricted from attending college because of limited financial resources. The college offers grants, scholarships, loans, and employment programs to eligible full-time and part-time students in all degree programs and most certificate programs.
- The Watson and Odyssey Four Year Cohort Program at Elon University (STARS Silver, December 2011) in North Carolina supports affordability for low-income and first-generation students. This fall, 26 scholars will enter the program with their full financial need met by grants from university, federal and state sources and federally guaranteed loans. The students will receive educational stipends and study abroad grants. The Watson/Odyssey program uses a peer support model coupled with administrative support.
The STARS team would love to hear readers’ ideas on ways to shape STARS in the future to further promote affordability and access within higher education. Please give us your feedback by sending your ideas to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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