President Gross in National Consumer Law Center's Student Loan Report

March 5, 2014

Report: Bridging the College Success Gap for Low-Income Students
Ideas from Student Borrowers, Teachers, Administrators, and Advocates

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(BOSTON) Lack of financial resources and the growing costs of college have a clear impact on college success rates, yet there are social trends at work that also provide significant challenges. A new report from the National Consumer Law Center’s Student Loan Borrower Assistance Project addresses the root causes of poverty and social isolation while also presenting practical ideas to help low-income students succeed. The ideas are from a diverse group of student loan borrowers, teachers, administrators, and advocates.

No Lost Causes: Practical Ideas to Help Low-Income Students Succeed in College  brings the voices of those directly involved in higher education to the debate about college success. The ideas presented in the report focus on lowering the barriers that go hand in hand with poverty, including:

  • Providing multiple opportunities for nontraditional students to succeed,
  • The critical importance of mentors,
  • Additional support that colleges can provide,
  • The need for potential students to receive better information on financial aid,
  • Addressing root causes that impede college completion, and
  • Seriously considering alternatives to colleges

"Taxpayers have spent years and millions of dollars on student assistance, but the completion gap for low-income students has barely budged," says Deanne Loonin, director of the National Consumer Law Center's Student Loan Borrower Assistance Project and editor of the report. In describing the ideas presented in the report, Loonin said, “These ideas can begin as small pilot projects or nationwide policy reforms.  Now is the time to try new ideas.”