“College is unaffordable for a lot of families. That’s widely acknowledged across party lines. But a new report shows that as many as 95 percent of colleges are completely unaffordable—and thus unavailable—for huge swaths of Americans. For many would-be college students, their choices are delimited by their socioeconomic status before they have even taken the SAT,” Emily Deruy writes for The Atlantic.
“In a new report, the nonprofit Institute for Higher Education Policy (IHEP) tackles those issues—and the numbers aren’t good: While students from the highest income quintile (earning around $160,000 or more) can afford about 90 percent of the more than 2,000 colleges studied, low- and moderate-income students (bringing in around $69,000 or less) can only afford 1 to 5 percent of those colleges.”
“The report offers several recommendations, including increasing the Pell grant and urging states to spend more on higher education. Pell grants are specifically for low-income students, but the cost of college has risen faster than the grants have increased, meaning that even with grant aid, low-income students still struggle the most to pay for college. And the report points out that even when the option to take out federal student loans is factored in, most students still struggle to find an affordable college.”