Analyzes low-income students' initial enrollment in public and private four-year colleges, community colleges, and for-profit schools by gender and race/ethnicity; rates of completion and long-term financial distress by institution type; and implications.
- Observation: The majority of low-income young adults begin their postsecondary education at community colleges, while enrollment in four-year colleges is becoming less common and enrollment in for-profit institutions is dramatically increasing.
- Observation: Low-income females are twice as likely as low-income males to start at for-profit institutions and three times as likely as non-poor females to attend for-profits.
- Observation: Research suggests that community colleges may not have sufficient support mechanisms to help students persist through completion, and while students at for-profits succeed in earning certificates and associate's degrees, they have the lowest six-year bachelor's completion rates among four-year institutions.
- Observation: Young adults enrolled at community colleges and for-profit institutions are more vulnerable to the negative consequences of borrowing, such as being more at risk of defaulting on their student loans, and need assistance to make more informed choices.