Interpretation Guide: Strategy 1

Interpretation guide STRATEGY 1: KNOW YOUR LOW-INCOME STUDENTS Question 1 This question addresses whether your college has a current, widely understood definition of “low-income” students. If you answered Yes, you are off to a solid start. If you answered No, defining “low-income” students at your institution will help all individuals, departments and programs gain a better understanding […]


GLOSSARY Child care subsidies help low-income parents afford the child care needed to go to work or school. The primarily federal funding stream is the Child Care and Development Block Grant (CCDBG), but many states also use funding from the Social Services Block Grant (SSBG) and the TANF block grant. Eligibility levels are set by states, […]

Technical Assistance FAQ

Overview What is the purpose of the Strategy Labs Technical Assistance Program? The purpose of the program is to support state and local nonprofits’ efforts to increase higher education attainment. The program provides funding to reimburse the eligible expenses of state- and locally based nonprofit organizations and governmental organizations to present and learn about higher […]

Making the Case for Supporting Low-Income Students

The perception of the “typical” American college student – an 18- to 22-year-old who lives in a residence hall and studies full time in pursuit of a bachelor’s degree – is no longer a reality. Times have changed. The percentage of Hispanic college students is 240 percent higher than it was 20 years ago. During that period, while the percentage of white students increased 11 percent, the percentage of African-American students jumped 72 percent. Roughly 40 percent of today’s undergraduates are over 25 years of age, and only 13 percent live in on-campus housing. Forty percent of today’s students attend school part-time.


Provide information and data that students and policymakers can use Data gathered about students should represent the full spectrum of today’s students, not just first-time, full-time enrollees. Policymakers and students need actionable, useful information to make smart decisions about postsecondary education. Students need clear information to make educational choices about programs and costs, including what […]

About BFA

Postsecondary learning has never mattered more than it does right now—to individual Americans or to the nation. Labor experts and economists agree that 21st-century jobs that offer a family-sustaining income require elevated knowledge and skills, the type of learning acquired through high-quality education and training beyond high school.

Strategy 1: Know Your Low-Income Students

BFA Strategies Strategy 1: Know your low-income students The facts enumerated in the Introduction (and the Appendices) describe the challenges facing today’s students. While national data outline the nature and scope of the issues low-income students face, they smooth out variations that may exist across regions and states and between two-year and four-year institutions. Each […]

Beyond Financial Aid

Beyond Financial Aid is a toolkit designed to help colleges and universities graduate students from low-income families at higher rates.


Strategy Labs provides a network for leaders and influencers in all 50 states to share research, data, and professional experiences to increase student success.