Access Issues for Low-Income and Historically Underrepresented Students

O'Brien, C., & Shedd, J. (2001). Getting through college: Voices of low-income and minority students in New England. Washington, D.C.: The Institute for Higher Education Policy. Retrieved July 4, 2004, from: This research study employed surveys and in-depth interviews with currently enrolled low-income and minority students in the New England region concerning their feelings about the obstacles they face in succeeding in college and what strategies they are employing to deal with the environment.
Findings from the study include: 1. Pre-college academic preparation programs were rated highly as supporting current college success though only one-fourth of eligible students are able to participate at the high school level. 2. Financial aid was a key factor in college attendance though one-third indicated that their financial aid package was inadequate and caused other hardships in their lives. 3. Minority students were more likely to participate in pre-college programs than their counterparts. Recommendations offered by the report include: increased awareness of pre-college academic preparation programs; increased offerings of grants in lieu of loans; increased efforts to establish a "campus community" for students who live off-campus, have families, off-campus employment, and other responsibilities away from the campus.