The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation commissioned FSG to explore the challenges low-income young adults face in accessing and using financial aid and the related trends contributing to
inequality in post-secondary education today, as well as potential approaches to helping students overcome these barriers. To do so, FSG interviewed national and state experts on financial aid, including policymakers, college leaders, financial aid officers, service providers, funders, academics, and researchers; conducted secondary research; and benchmarked funders’ efforts in the financial aid space. This report is the result of that research and aims to provide funders with recommendations from the field on the areas where support is most urgently needed to structure aid to increase access and completion for low-income young adults. Key findings in the report are summarized below and expanded upon in the full report that follows.

Keeping the Promise of Opportunity