Improving the Financial Security of Low-income Students to Improve College Completion

PROCEEDINGS FROM A NATIONAL CONVENING TO IDENTIFY CORE PRINCIPLES FOR DESIGNING AND SCALING INTEGRATED AND SYSTEMIC STRATEGIES THAT ADDRESS THIS NATIONAL CHALLENGE

The National Financial Security Convening was an intentional effort to bring together a diverse group of leaders working on these issues to identify possible paths to coordination and collaboration, so that the efforts of the many can have a greater impact than the sum of their individual endeavors. The vision was for an ecosystem of influential organizations to come together to help students achieve financial stability, and in doing so, better support efforts to improve college completion.

Given the reality of the higher education landscape, the convening initially focused on the typical college student attending under-resourced institutions, representing about 75% of all students (~14 million undergrads), including 8.7 million Pell Grant recipients.8 Participants quickly converged around the critical needs of low-income students as a core students was underscored by the recent report from New America Foundation showing that lowerresourced regional public universities enroll a much higher share of low-income students than state flagship universities do, and even larger shares of students from low-income families attend open-enrollment institutions such as public two-year community colleges.

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