Anthony Cooper

Director of Finance

What are the challenges of disadvantaged college students?

Besides money, the largest hurdle that disadvantaged college students face is an overall lack of resources. Disadvantaged students are unlikely to have personal or professional mentors to guide them through the challenges of higher education.

Filing out the FASA can be a nightmare.  It can be so complex that there are fee-based services to assist in processing and submitting the FASA.  Low income or not, many parents have so much difficulty with the FASA that they do not complete it.

For students, small disruptions in life can have more serious consequences. For example, having a car break down can immediately derail college attendance. Even if the car repairs could cost a few hundred dollars, that economic hurdle can make it impossible for someone to finish their college education if they are not able to pay for books, tuition, or any college expenses.

College acceptance and merit-based student financial aid are substantially dependent on academic performance. Disadvantaged students have increased the difficulty in getting this extra help. For example, receiving academic tutoring can help boost a student’s grades, but tutoring often costs money. Even if students can stay after school to receive extra help with their schoolwork from teachers, there may be transportation and or part time job issues.

Due to financial constraints, disadvantaged student may know that they must graduate in four years or less because they simply cannot afford to attend college any longer. They may also choose a major that gives them the best chance of landing a higher paying job after graduation. When these goals do not align with what the student really wants to do, it can lead to poorer academic performance, which in turn can increase the chances of dropping out.

While a student may have the ambition, they may not be prepared for the academic rigors of college. The state of unpreparedness can be caused by ineffective high school classes or a lack of guidance. Students are also more likely to have to work while attending college. Being able to balance this third obligation (in addition to classwork and social life) can make succeeding in college more difficult.

Therefore, we created Accountants Without Limits.  To help anyone no matter the age, race, religion, or educational goal so the community can get resources they need to reach their goals.