All posts tagged: education

Changes to Pell Grant harm college students, potentially causing drop in enrollment

JRF | Jan 22 2013 |  · · · 

For the first time in 15 years, college enrollment has dropped. Between fall of 2010 and fall of 2011, there was a decrease in over 34,000 enrolled students. Colleges in the country have seen these drops, in part, due to new Pell eligibility guidelines. The changes were a cost cutting method because the program had doubled in size in only four years due to an increase in recipients and award amounts.

To offset expenses, the program changed the guidelines for eligibility. The guidelines now include fewer semesters of eligibility, no summer grants and a lower income cap. Many low-income students struggle financially and must borrow substantially more money to cover tuition, books and fees. Others are discouraged from even enrolling due to high tuition costs without the help of Pell.

Those affected include JRF scholars like LaTrena. In 2011, we covered the effects of changing Pell eligibility in this way. In an interview, LaTrena discusses the importance of the JRF scholarship, especially during this time.

In 2013, JRF will award more scholarships than ever – 87! There are so many who need help changing their lives through education, and donors are making it possible.

However, there are still plenty of students that need support! In the future, we hope that there will be Pell grant reforms that take away barriers that disproportionately impact nontraditional students. Read more here. What do you see in the future for Pell grants?


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How to break the cycle of poverty with education

How to break the cycle of poverty with education

JRF | Dec 07 2012 |  · · · 

“It’s irrefutable. There’s no question that there’s a connection between the stresses of living in poverty and poor academic performance,” says Neil Shorthouse, president, state director and cofounder of Communities in Schools of Georgia (CISGA).

As an organization that serves low-income women, this tie is abundantly clear. Most JRF scholars grew up in poverty and nearly half are the first in their families to attend college.

An article in Georgia Trend documents different experiences of people who grew up in poverty and how they now fight to increase access to education for others.

The article also discusses the cycle of poverty. Research shows that people who grow up in poverty are likely to stay in poverty. It’s a vicious cycle that continues generation after generation. (National Center for Children in Poverty)

The Communities in Schools network helps provide school supplies, clothing and other assistance to students. They report that 97.6% of the at-risk students they served stayed in school or graduated. That’s incredible!

Something else to consider is that education of parents is a big indicator of child success. (Long-term Effects of Parents’ Education on Children’s Educational and Occupational Success)

At JRF, we hear from our scholars, who are women 35 and older, that they do homework with their kids, that now their sons and daughters are talking about college. Increasing access for adults is vital to breaking the cycle of poverty.

2012 JRF scholar Lecia says: “My educational pursuits have helped me better prepare my family for the future. It helped me to be an example to my children, teaching them that education is a major key to their success.”

What are your thoughts on education and the cycle of poverty?


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