CLASP and AACC Partner with Seven Community Colleges to Expand Student Access to Financial Resources
Sep 11, 2012
This week, seven community colleges, CLASP and the American Association of Community Colleges announced the beginning of the implementation phase of Benefits Access for College Completion (BACC), a three-year initiative that will test innovative approaches to reducing the gap between financial aid and the cost of attending college in order to increase the number of students who earn postsecondary credentials.
With college costs on the rise and financial aid not keeping pace, postsecondary degrees and credentials are becoming less accessible for low-income students. Even those who receive federal financial aid frequently have thousands of dollars of unmet need, leading them to work while attending school and attend part time, often making it impossible for them to complete college. Benefits Access for College Completion is designed to test whether providing students with assistance accessing and retaining publicly available financial resources, such as food assistance and child care, enables them to stay in school longer and complete their studies more quickly.
Earlier this year, CLASP and AACC led the colleges through an intensive planning phase, which resulted in the individualized plans each college developed. The colleges are pursuing a variety of strategies to embed benefits access into new and existing college processes, such as orientation, student supports, financial aid, and college success courses.
The colleges participating in BACC are: Cuyahoga Community College (OH), Gateway Community and Technical College (KY), LaGuardia Community College (NY), Lake Michigan College and Macomb Community College (MI), Northampton Community College (PA), and Skyline College (CA).
CLASP is excited to lead BACC into its implementation phase and to see the institutions put into action new strategies for assisting low-income students access a range of available public benefits to improve their prospects for postsecondary success.