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Survey: Many College Students Need a Lot More Than Academic Support to Succeed

Graduates of one of the best known charter school networks in the nation experience significant financial and other hurdles while in college, including difficulties getting work-study jobs and internships related to their career aspirations, according to a recent survey.

Conducted by the KIPP (Knowledge is Power Program) charter school organization in 2016, the survey attempted to get a sense of the challenges facing college-going alumni of KIPP’s 200 schools in 20 states plus Washington D.C. Twenty-five of those schools are in California. KIPP surveyed its approximately 10,000 alumni currently in colleges throughout the United States and received responses from 2,969 of them.

KIPP executive director Richard Barth said the reason KIPP conducted the study was to “better understand the hurdles” KIPP graduates face, and “to raise public awareness about the challenges first-generation and low-income students experience in college.”

The hardships underscore that though college-bound students may be academically ready for higher education, the challenges they face after high school could undermine or even imperil their ability to graduate from college. It also raises larger questions about the kinds of support students will need in college in order to succeed.