At Risk Students: Access College Grant Programs
For most of the 20th century, scholarships and grants were focused on upper-class Americans, predominantly white males seeking college degrees. Very little financial support was available to at-risk students and those from smaller student populations. However, the last few decades have seen an increase in financial aid and grant assistance available to women and minority students as a means to diversify learning institutions and create equal opportunities for “anybody” wanting to pursue an education.

On a national level over a quarter of high school students drop out of school before graduation. This is due to the level of higher standards recently introduced in public schools, which effect “at risk” low-income students from disadvantaged and minority backgrounds.

What is an at risk student?

A at risk student is someone who is not experiencing success in school and have been low academic achievers. Figures show that males and minority populations from low socioeconomic status families and families with low educational backgrounds are higher risk and less likely to pursue education. Essentially, low family income and poverty play a major role in the likelihood of at risk student pursuing education.

Financial Aid and Grant Sources for “At Risk” Students

To tackle the fundamental aspect which effects minority and at risk students development through education (money), grant and scholarship programs have been created by a number of governmental departments and education institutions. These programs are exclusively for the needs of at-risk students and programs are available at elementary and secondary level right through to higher education.

Government Grant Sources

Education grant support is available to at-risk students from a number of government initiatives. More specifically, the government administers a variety of at-risk grant programs directly to non-profit organizations that use the funds to support students who need financial assistance to access education. For example;

  • The College Assistance Migrant Program (CAMP) is a federally funded educational support and grant program that helps over 2,000 students each year. The program has been developed to assist at-risk migrant students and seasonal farm workers to access and succeed in college. Grant recipients can receive between $750 and $4,000 of financial support during their first year of college in addition to ongoing support until their graduation. There are currently 38 colleges and universities that participate in the program, more details are available at

Community and Vocational Colleges

A large number of community and vocational college across the United States offer grant and financial assistance programs specifically for at-risk students.

There are currently 31 community colleges across 15 states that participate in the Dreamkeepers Emergency Financial Assistance program. Developed by Scholarship America, the program is designed to provide grants, emergency funds and additional resources to students at-risk of dropping out of college due to unforeseen financial difficulties. The program assists students with grants and financial aid for issues such as student housing, food and utilities, books and tuition, medical needs and childcare. In order to apply for assistance students are required to apply via their college, download a list of participating colleges for more details.