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Bills in California and Washington Address Homeless College Students

More low-income students, some homeless, now enroll in college than middle-income ones. New legislation in California and Washington state aims to help them.
In this August 9, 2016 photo, James Edwards, right, poses for a photo with, from left, fellow residents Dujour Rice, Brandon David and Tyren Jones outside the Plymouth Crossroads youth homeless residence in Lancaster, N.Y., as Edwards prepared to leave for college.
In this August 9, 2016 photo, James Edwards, right, poses for a photo with, from left, fellow residents Dujour Rice, Brandon David and Tyren Jones outside the Plymouth Crossroads youth homeless residence in Lancaster, N.Y., as Edwards prepared to leave for college.Carolyn Thompson/AP

Right now, high school seniors across the United States are weighing their acceptances to college and making decisions about the next few years of their lives. For many, the financial aid and support opportunities at an institution will dictate their choice.

Living costs and tuition fees are on the rise at colleges and universities. In the past decade, average tuition and fee prices at public four-year colleges increased by $2,670. Yet these days higher education institutions are filled with a financially diverse student body. Although the majority still hails from the upper class, more low-income students now enroll in college than their middle-income peers, while an increasing number of students find their way to college after experiencing poverty and even homelessness.