The University of Georgia will soon receive $30 million from the Woodruff Foundation. The school says some of that money will go toward scholarships for students who are struggling to cover the full cost of attendance. 95 percent of UGA students receive some form of financial aid, but it’s not always enough to cover the total cost.
“You may have a situation where children are not able to go to school because they’re a$1,000 short, or they’re $500 short,” says Beth Howard Brown, principle technical assistant consultant with the American Institutes for Research.
Brown says a growing number of colleges are confronting the same problem. Georgia State University and the Georgia Institute of Technology both have grant programs that give students small amounts of money to cover the gaps financial aid doesn’t fill.
Thomas Harnisch, director of state relations and policy analysis at the American Association of State Colleges and Universities, says schools can't solve the problem alone.
"The key issue here is that states are disinvesting in public higher education, and they really need to start investing more in public colleges and universities so we don't have to raise tuition,” he says.
Harnisch says that may be tough for some states dealing with tight budgets after a long recession.
Brown says this could become the new normal for schools, so they may need to look to alumni and private foundations to help them raise money.