5 answers

How can low income students be encouraged to pursue a higher education?

Updated Dallas, Texas

Few people that I have visited living in a low income community have made the excuse that the lack of them being successful is the reason behind how less resourceful their community is. But, In my perspective that reason is invalid because I also live in a low income community. For that particular reason, I wanted to know whether there is a possibility in the future that will innovate low income students to not limit themselves. #college #higher-education #low-income #community #education #social-activism

5 answers

John’s Answer

Updated Plymouth, Massachusetts

Hi, Josephine: you're asking a very important question! If someone from a low income background has an interest in attending college, he or she should be the LAST person not to go for it! I worked in the higher education world for more than 30 years and we were always keen on attracting talent from those who were the first from their families to attend college. I worked at Harvard, Duke, and Williams College and each went to great lengths to recruit students like you . . . and offer very generous financial aid to make it possible to attend. It is critical, however, for you to look for good advice in order to create the best application possible. Many colleges will offer such assistance, as mentioned by the previous advisor. Why not make an appointment over at SMU's admissions office and hear the latest on how to become a good candidate?

Now, if you're really interested in the more central issue of why students from low-income backgrounds don't apply to college, that's a more difficult question to answer. Many colleges attempt to reach out to students in these communities, through college fairs, mailings, and outreach done by local alumni. However, that effort comes up short much of the time. My belief is that the effort has to begin earlier in the educational process, during middle and high school. This requires an effort on the part of public education to encourage and coach all students to pursue education beyond high school. But, if you want to become active in the reform efforts, that's excellent and I encourage you to do so. Contact your local congressman or woman, find nonprofits in Dallas interested in education reform, or, mention this to the folks at SMU and see what they recommend. Not only will you contribute to the improvement of education in the Dallas area, you will also show leadership that will appeal greatly to any college to which you apply. If you Google "education reform in Dallas," I think that would be a good way to start. You'll uncover all sorts of information about many people interested in the same issues you are, and will want to get you involved.

I could go on with more, but I hope you get the picture and have a place to start. You can definitely make a difference in the life of your community and your own as well. Best of luck!!

Vickey’s Answer

Updated Baltimore, Maryland

If not having the money is the only excuse someone has for not attending college, take them to the nearest college and sit them down with the financial aid people. There is so much money out there, not only from colleges, but the state and federal governments as well as private donor scholarships and loans.

For example, I have diabetes. My state paid for all my books and class related necessities. And it was a grant, not a loan so I didn't have to pay it back.

Check with colleges, high school counselors, the internet.

Good Luck

Lashay’s Answer


Good question. I was a low income student from a one parent household and a poor high school. But, I chose not to focus on that but rather to focus on the opportunities that would open up to me if I went to college and finished. I chose to go to a large University in the state where I lived. I took classes that interested me and was a letter to turn that into a major. That was a long time ago. Due to the way Federal Financial Aid works, you would be better off choosing a major as soon as possible, but be sure it's still of interest. There is money available from the federal government to help you pay for all of your schooling. It is from the federal government and to get it you must complete a form called the FAFSA. That form will look to see if your family cam offer any money to help you. Once they see that fill cannot help, they will offer you a Pell grant, for students in need. They may also offer you work-study which allows you to work for 19 hours per week to earn some money for food or books or supplies. They might also offer you a loan, but that money will have to be paid back...you don't have to accept all or any of it. You choose how much you'd need based on your cost for classes, books, housing. I hope this helps and in the end, college is on of the best ways to get out of poverty by increasing your chances of getting a job. I have many friends and family who have done so. Good luck!

Chian-Han’s Answer


First, the low income students can choose a university which they don't need to pay high tuition fee. Besides, most of universities offer scholarships. The low income students can apply them. Moreover, they can apply student loan. After they graduate from universities and find out a job, they can return their tuition fee.

Chian-Han’s Answer


Actually, you can seek for the federal government to help you for your tuition fee. There are also a lot of scholarships in universities. You need to budget how much money that you're going to pay for four years. Then, you can choose a university which the tuition fee is competitive. Moreover, you can work part-time to make some money. There 're a lot of way to pursue higher education. You need to have positive attitude to toward your future.