A recent study by the National Bureau of Economic Research has revealed that simplifying the rules of applying for financial aid is essential to facilitate more low-income students attending college. The study — “Into College, Out of Poverty? Policies to Increase the Post-secondary Attainment of the Poor” — is actually a review of 17 previous studies, all which examined the efficacy of various programs aimed at increasing access to college and keeping students enrolled.
The authors of “Into College, Out of Poverty” found that confusing and cumbersome paperwork is a major deterrent to programs, such as the Pell Grant, in reaching their goal of enrolling (and retaining) low-income students who would not otherwise have gone to college.
If targeted students are deterred by administrative hurdles, these programs will not work as well as intended.
You can read more about the study from InsideHigherEd.com.