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Low-Income Students

Low-income is a term describing students whose financial resources, or those of their family, place them in the bottom of their country’s overall income distribution. While the precise monetary cutoff defining low-income students varies from country to country, the bottom quarter of the national income distribution provides useful shorthand. Low-income status often intersects with other nondominant social categories, such as racial, ethnic, and religious minority status.

Low-income students traditionally have not received higher education at the same rate as higher income students, largely because colleges and universities originally were developed to serve students from the highest income and most elite families. However, as the need for workers with more advanced knowledge and skills has increased alongside globalization and the rise of information technology, low-income students have ...

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