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    Chapter 1: Five National Trends

    Chapter 2: State Policies for Affordable Higher Education

    Chapter 3: Questions and Answers about Losing Ground

    Chapter 4: 2002 Update for the States: "A Dire Situation"

    Chapter 5: Public Concerns about the Price of College

    Chapter 6: Taking Care of the Middle Class

    Chapter 7: Profiles of American College Students

    Appendix: State Trends




    College students in the United States defy a single stereotype. About 13 million undergraduate students attend many types of colleges and universities: public, private, two-year, four-year, for-profit, and not-for-profit.
    • About a third of undergraduates are older than 24 years of age.
    • Almost 40% are enrolled part-time.
    • About 42% attend public two-year colleges, 38% attend public four-year colleges and universities, and 20% attend private colleges and universities.
    • About 84% live off-campus.
    • About 30% are non-white.
    This chapter presents six students and the challenges they face in paying for college. These student profiles, written by journalists in November and December 2001, help to illustrate the diversity of American college students. These articles also reveal the complexities of students' lives as they work, study, and find their own path through a maze of financial aid forms, part-time jobs, and credit card debt.

    The students highlighted in this chapter were identified with the help of financial aid administrators, who were given sample student financial aid profiles derived from nationwide data. Based on actual award packages, the National Center searched for and found students who were willing to share their stories. These students represent some, though certainly not all, of the students who seek financial aid.


  • Betty Luz Morales
  • Linda Gonzalez
  • Crystal Fonseca
  • Demetrio Johnson
  • Kristy Bleichner
  • Tracy Faulkner

    Sources for bullets: U.S. Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics, Digest of Education Statistics 2001 (Washington, D.C.: 2002), pp. 209, 211, 216, 244, 290; and U.S. Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics: http://nces.ed.gove/surveys/npsas/table_library/ tables/npsas37.asp [March 21, 2002]. Data are from fall, 1999.