Parents, stretched, get savvy about paying for college
Published: Wednesday, September 7, 2011
Updated: Wednesday, September 7, 2011 13:09
There are more poor students in college. For several years, the low-income category has been swelling in size - from 20 percent of the survey sample in 2008 to 32 percent in 2011. Young called that a "surprising" trend unexplained by their survey.
It might be that more students from low-income families are going to college. Or that more families, hit hard by the recession, now fit in that category. Or that increased funding for the Pell Grant program has brought in more students who qualify.
The percentage of students in the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities system who received federal, need-based Pell grants has grown from 45 percent in 2006 to 54 percent in 2010.
Brittney Hagstrom, who considers her family middle-class, is attending Normandale Community College as a high school student, through the Post-Secondary Enrollment Options program. She expects that even once she has graduated from high school, she'll continue attending the public Bloomington, Minn., college.
"Instead of trying to go to an all-out, big college, I'll probably transfer to another school to finish the four-year degree," she said. "It's cheaper."
Hagstrom said that although her family supports her going to college, they live "paycheck to paycheck," so she's "stuck paying for myself."
(c) 2011, Star Tribune (Minneapolis)