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Many Flagship Universities Inaccessible for Low-Income Students

Only six state flagship universities are affordable for low-income students making education inaccessible for this group, according to a new report by the Institute for Higher Education Policy (IHEP).

Titled Opportunity Lost: Net Price and Equity at Public Flagship Institutions, the report build on its 2017 study which found most of the institutions unaffordable for low-income and working-class students.

The report found that low-income students have to shell out $80,000 over four years, which is way more than they can afford. And those flagship universities that are affordable, enrolls very few low-income students.

“This analysis shows that – even at our most well-resourced public institutions – affordability is still a major problem,” said IHEP Vice President of Policy Research, Mamie Voight.

“Too many low-income students are being shut out of the very schools that were designed to offer them the best chance of success.”

At many flagship universities either the state or the school provides financial aid to a typical high-income student whose family earning is more than $167,000 per annum. While at six institutions, higher-income students receive more aid than the low-income unmet need for the students

“While there are many paths to a high-quality postsecondary degree, flagship universities play a critical role in providing state residents with excellent educational opportunities and promoting social and economic mobility within state communities,” said IHEP President, Michelle Asha Cooper.

The report recommended various measures to increase affordability which includes ensuring equitable access for low-income students at flagships, design and awarding need-based aid to students and increase general state appropriations to all public institutions.

Online, For-Profit Colleges Fail Minority, Low Income Students [Report]

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