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How One College Helps Its Students Navigate the Maze of Social Services

She’s not the only one. Each month, Skyline helps between 10 and 15 students and community members apply for public benefits. It is one of a small but growing number of community colleges that are looking beyond financial aid to help cover the living expenses that often delay or derail adult students. For Maria, who hopes to become a nurse, the money she might receive through the state’s financial-assistance program, known as CalWorks, could mean the difference between staying in college and dropping out. For Skyline, it could mean another student who graduates or transfers at a time when colleges are facing intense pressure from policy makers and the public to improve their outcomes for low-income students.