This fact sheet provides an overview of today's students and recognizes some of the barriers to success they face. It concludes with recommendations for improving access to public benefits for college students.
Carrie Welton was quoted on the large number of eligible students who qualify for food assistance, but aren't recving it.
And although two million college students qualify for the program, "57 percent of potentially eligible students are not receiving the benefit," says Carrie Welton, a policy analyst for The Center for Law and Social Policy (CLASP), due in part to a lack of information about SNAP being dispersed on campuses.
Maine's LIFT Act recognizes the challenges that prevent low-income students from completing postsecondary education. By combining public benefits with counseling, financial aid, and advising, the LIFT Act could help them complete their degrees.
Cost is the main barrier facing many adults who pursue postsecondary credentials. As costs have increased, state and federal financial aid has not kept up. Students face significant unmed need, struggling to make ends meet while completing their education.
On November 15, 2016, U.S. Secretary of Education John B. King announced a joint agency letter highlighting how student supports (such as access to public benefits, student aid, child care, and delivery strategies like career pathways) can promote college completion. The letter represents years of hard work by federal and state officials and higher education institutions as well as strong advocacy from CLASP and other experts.
A notice of the draft 2017-2018 FAFSA has been released, and it includes a significant change for low-income students: the addition of an applicant’s receipt of Medicaid as a qualification for the Simplified Needs Test.