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Opportunity Costs

Nontuition Financial Barriers Are Derailing Low-Income Students’ Path to a College Credential—and a Shot at Economic Mobility

Posted: June 30, 2021
Author(s): Naomi Sharp
Organization(s): Center for an Urban Future

Every year, thousands of community college students in the City University of New York system drop out without earning a credential. Although some do so because of a lack of academic preparedness, this report says that far more students leave school because of financial barriers that make it impossible to attend classes. The main financial hurdle is not tuition but rather a variety of non-tuition financial challenges—from paying for a MetroCard to covering a parent’s emergency medical bill, the report states.

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