Short Title

Financial Awareness and Preparation


The rising cost of higher education and questions of affordability are concerns for many families in the United States, but particularly for those from traditionally underrepresented backgrounds. The knowledge of, information about, and perceptions related to how to pay for college can impact preparatory actions taken by families to prepare to pay for college. This commentary reviews literature published on pre-college financial awareness and preparation between 2000 and 2013 to examine what we know about the topic and to highlight existing disparities by race, ethnicity, and socioeconomic status. Implications are offered for programs and policies seeking to address these inequities, as well as suggestions for future research on this important but under-researched topic.