Despite the high cost of college and the clear need many American have for financial aid, apparently students don’t collect millions worth of federal higher education money every year. According to an article by David Moltz in Inside Higher Ed:
Community college students are less likely than their four-year counterparts to complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid. During the 2007-8 academic year, 57.8 percent of Pell Grant-eligible community college students applied for federal financial aid, while 76.8 percent of eligible students at public four-year institutions did so.
This information comes from a recent College Board report, which recommends simplifying the financial aid process and involving families in financial aid materials and discussions. The report also indicates that linking “financial aid application and follow-up with college enrollment or registration” and providing materials in Spanish would likely increase college enrollment and completion.