HUD Offers $2M to Help Students in Assisted Housing Continue Education
HUD recently announced the agency is making $2 million in grants available to help low-income families and young people apply for federal aid for college and other post-secondary educational opportunities. The funding is being offered through HUD’s longstanding Resident Opportunities and Self Sufficiency (ROSS) program. HUD’s ROSS program encourages local, innovative strategies that link public housing assistance with public and private resources to enable participating families to increase earned income, reduce or eliminate the need for welfare assistance, and make progress toward achieving economic independence and housing self-sufficiency. The ROSS for Education Program, also known as Project SOAR (Students + Opportunities + Achievements = Results), will support hundreds of young people between the ages of 15–20 to apply for U.S. Department of Education’s Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). The available funding will support ‘Education Navigators’ in up to six PHAs across the country.
HUD Secretary Julián Castro said, “Many families find the cost of higher education prohibitive, but know that a degree or training beyond high school is essential to be competitive in today’s 21st century global economy. By helping students access federal financial aid, HUD is lifting up students to overcome financial challenges and reach their full potential.” HUD estimates that those who earn a bachelor’s degree earn two-thirds more than those with only a high school diploma or an average of $1 million more in lifetime earnings. In addition, college graduates are far less likely to face unemployment. It’s also estimated that within the next four years, two-thirds of all new full-time jobs will require a college education.