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New Federal Profile of Low-Income Students

October 2, 2019

A new report from the U.S. Department of Education used a representative national sample of 90,000 undergraduate college students in 2015-16 to examine the demographics of low-income students, the financial aid they received and the price of attendance for the institutions they attended.

The data from the department's National Center for Education Statistics used Census Bureau definitions and classifies low income as "those whose family incomes fell below 50 percent of the federally established poverty guideline for their family size."

Compared to wealthier students, this group included more women, first-generation college students and immigrants or second-generation immigrants. It also featured a disproportionate share of black, Latino and Asian American students.


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