Education Brief Explores Strategies that Result in Postsecondary Degree Completion

Author: Helios Education Foundation

September 5, 2018

Helios Education Foundation, in conjunction with the nonpartisan, non-profit research firm WestEd, examined financial aid supports throughout the country to find innovative strategies that result in higher than average postsecondary degree completion, with lower than average student debt. The resulting education brief, Financial Aid from Entry to Completion, surveys the national landscape while focusing on creative approaches in Arizona, California, Florida, Georgia, Massachusetts, Oregon, and Texas that achieve impactful results. 

Report insights explore the challenges of financial aid in three categories (1) overcoming barriers to financial aid access, (2) facilitating degree-completion goals, and (3) limiting student debt. Case studies focus on creative programs that address these challenges, some solutions taking a statewide approach while others are institution driven. 

There are multiple reasons why students who set out to complete a postsecondary degree fall short. Often when students acquire some credits but do not complete a degree, they also acquire debt without the added earnings potential. “It’s imperative that students find appropriate supports all along their education journey, from postsecondary access to completion. Support, particularly financial support, is critical to ensure more first-generation, minority, and underrepresented students complete a postsecondary degree”, said Paul J. Luna, President and CEO of Helios Education Foundation. 

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