Report: Financial Aid, Student Support Reforms Should Embrace Non-Traditional Black Students

Career College Central summary:

  • Nearly two-thirds of African-Americans in college either finance their education without relying upon parents and grandparents, or are considered non-traditional students meaning they typically are working adults with families to support, says a new report from the National Urban League.
  • In “From Access to Completion: A Seamless Path to College Graduation for African Americans,” the National Urban League (NUL) concludes that independent and non-traditional students “require a comprehensive, customized approach that includes strengthening the Pell Grant program to better align with rising tuition costs and student need.” The report is the second completed by the civil rights-focused community and economic development organization as part of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation’s Reimagining Aid Delivery and Design (RADD) project.
  • Released last week to coincide with the 60th anniversary of the Brown vs. Board of Education decision, the report finds that 65 percent of African American college students can be characterized as “non-traditional” or “independent.”
  • Twenty-three percent of independent African-American students enroll in four-year institutions in contrast to 49 percent of dependent African-American students or 40 percent of all undergraduates, according to the report. Forty-two percent of independent African-American students are enrolled in two-year schools and another 27 percent are enrolled in private, for-profit institutions, which are the highest rates among U.S. racial and ethnic groups attending college.

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