US: Simpler student aid process opens access for poor

More low-income students would make it to college in America if changes were made to streamline the complicated financial aid process, according to a ground-breaking study released last week by researchers at the Harvard Graduate School of Education, Stanford University School of Education, University of Toronto and National Bureau of Economic Research, reports ScienceDaily.

The new study, conducted by Stanford University Associate Professor Eric Bettinger, Harvard Graduate School of Education Professor Bridget Terry Long, and University of Toronto Associate Professor Philip Oreopoulos, tracked nearly 17,000 low-income individuals and determined that cumbersome financial aid forms and lack of information about higher education costs and financial aid prevented access to higher education.

"Making college aid applications almost effortless to complete had an extremely powerful impact on the number of low-income students who made it to college," said Oreopoulos. "For high school seniors, just helping their parents fill out the financial aid form and apply increased college enrolment rates by 30%."
Full report on the ScienceDaily site