Moving Beyond Financial Aid, one student at a time - A new toolkit from Lumina Foundation

It was a long and winding road that led to the final release of Lumina Foundation’s Beyond Financial Aid report at a recent Launch & Learn event. Attended by enthusiastic leaders from across higher ed, the program served to unveil the expanded report, which includes a comprehensive self assessment for institutions, as well as provide a platform for conversations around interweaving commitment to all students’ #basicneeds into both the moral fiber and financial landscape of our institutions. A livestream of the action was simulcast to an engaged virtual audience, and all agreed that the highlights of a day of inspiring content were the student speakers: representatives from Kentucky’s The Student Voice, Jeliah Logan and Sahar Mohammadzadeh, and University of Michigan Student Lauren Schandevel, who was recently featured on NPR’s All Things Considered for launching a community-curated resource for navigating her institution as someone “not rich”.

#BeyondFinancialAid trended on Twitter with those in attendance posing critical questions and key takeaways. Explore the feed and download the report toolkit to begin your institution’s journey to better supporting student success. 

Join us to continue the #BeyondFinancialAid conversation at the upcoming Symposium on Collegiate Financial Well-being. The full #SCFWB18 schedule is posted and includes sessions for #SApros at all levels who are driving toward #studentsuccess. 

Beyond Financial Aid

How colleges can strengthen the financial stability of low-income students and improve student outcomes

Collected Quotes from the report: 

“Since 1980 the total [cost of attendance] has increased by 162% at four-year public colleges. During this same 35-year period, median household income grew by only 12%, and for families in the bottom 40% the average household income increased by only 4 percent.”

“The average Pell grant today covers only 33% of the cost of attending a public four-year college as compared to roughly 73% in 1980.”

“38% of students with additional work, financial or family obligations leave school in their first year.”

At Georgia State, a one-point increase in retention is equivalent to 320 students, and the average annual bill in tuition and fees is $9,000/student: 320 x $9,000 = $2.88 milion. So for every one point we increase retention, the university nets $2.88 million.  If these students enroll for more than one additional year (and most do), the gains are even higher.

Timothy M. Renick, vice provost and vice president for enrollment management and student success

“In a 2009 demonstration project, low-income students were given up to $1,000 for each of two semesters. Those who received the assistance had term-to-term retention rates that were 30% higher than the control group.”

“The current smorgasbord of discrete, disconnected programs at most institutions has manifest as “solution-itis” instead of a culture of support.” How do we combat this?

“Redefining faculty and staff roles to focus more holistically on students and getting buy-in from faculty and staff to take on these roles.”

Amazing result from Seminole State College: “The average amount of support provided to address a student’s financial crisis is approximately $750. Of the students who received emergency funds, 100% stayed enrolled in their current term, and 85% could continue to the next semester.”

We call all students who leave, and cost and finances are at the top of the list of their reasons for leaving.  We need to do what we can to keep the students here and help them to complete. We need to do it from a moral standpoint and as a way to support our community.

College president Jeffrey Rafn from Northeast Wisconsin Technical College

#BeyondFinancialAid Highlights