The Effects of Financial Aid Education on College Aspirations of High School Seniors
AuthorAlt, Jennifer Lee
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Access to college for low-income, first-generation students is frequently hindered by a lack of knowledge and awareness of the college-related resources and opportunities available to them, including financial aid. Low-income students and their families are more likely to lack pertinent information about the college process and funding opportunities. This study sought to implement components of the Realizing The College Dream © curriculum in two high schools, examine differences in communication and knowledge gain based on providing or not providing parent information, and examine the effectiveness of the curriculum on the students' aspirations for college and beliefs about college affordability. Results indicated the following: (a) receipt or non-receipt of parent information about financial aid did not significantly impact student/parent communication about financial aid; (b) students who received parent information about financial aid performed better on the financial aid quiz than those who did not receive parent information; (c) students showed a significant increase in financial aid knowledge gain; (d) students also significantly changed their minds about college affordability - once believing they could not afford the college of their choice before the workshops to believing that they could after the workshops; (e) there was no change in the type of college students were considering, nor were there any differences in these areas by income status or first-generation college bound status; (f) 69.5% of students participating in the study had either started or completed their FAFSA approximately one month after the completion of the workshops; and (g) students overall are not communicating with their school counselors about financial aid.