- Inside Higher Ed reports on a new plan from the University of Kentucky to reallocate its student aid funding program from merit-based awards to need-based funding, citing its projections on the financial status of future students and data on its current student population which can afford less support.
- The school says that students are more likely to drop out of schools with $5,000 or less in financial support and that providing this gap funding will increase retention rates while encouraging diversity among its student body.
- According to its data, nearly 23% of UK's 30,000 students require institutional aid to meet deficits ranging from $5,000 to $15,000.
There are several ways to determine aid, but commonly, the affordability conversation is targeted towards tuition and fees. Students who qualify academically and can maintain eligibility for aid often find that the gaps aren't present within direct educational costs, but in the areas like affording textbooks, transportation, and living expenses while enrolled in school. These are the areas which exhaust income earned from parents or employment while enrolled as a full-time student.
College leaders should do a better job of assessing the actual costs of college for their respective students by surveying the ways that students are able to afford these costs, and structuring aid or support systems around these realities instead of looking at raw data on who drops out and who stays. This approach would provide a more customized solution for a campus community and better opportunities for corporate support and private giving to support these measures.