Barriers to successfully financing a college education

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Financial literacy is essential when preparing for college 

Through Access Your Potential®, PwC is teaching underserved students the tech and money skills they need to change the trajectory of their lives. Financial literacy is especially critical when it comes to paying for a college education. Research supported by PwC and conducted by the National Association for College Admission Counseling (NACAC) identified five major barriers that exist for low-income and first-generation students, and what collectively, we can do about them.

Five major barriers to financing higher education

Helping students afford higher education

Step 1 - Leverage materials from PwC, NACAC, and other organizations and disseminate trusted information to schools, educators, students, and families about financial literacy and college affordability.

Step 2 - Support early financial literacy education and financial aid information programs targeted at underserved students and their families. Advocate for increasing the number of counselors in secondary schools.

Step 3 - Advocate for strong college preparation resources and appropriate professional training in high school; with an emphasis on financial aid. Partner with local colleges to support financial aid training for college admission counseling professionals.

Step 4 - Improve access to tools that help students, families, and counselors understand the aid they are offered and its implications. Encourage institutional leaders and other policy-makers to improve the clarity of financial aid award offers.

Step 5 - Educate school and college leaders about the important role that secondary school counselors and college admission officers play in advising students about financial aid and college affordability. Encourage elevating these roles so that students can expect consistent and reliable information.

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Suzanne McHenry

Suzanne McHenry

Senior Manager, Responsible Business Leadership, PwC US

Shannon Schuyler

Shannon Schuyler

Chief Purpose and Inclusion Officer, PwC US

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