Beyond Financial Aid


Guidebook with institutional self-assessment to help postsecondary institutions increase financial stability for low-income students, developed on behalf of the Lumina Foundation in partnership with the National Center for Inquiry and Improvement.

Beyond Financial Aid (BFA) is a guidebook designed to help two- and four-year postsecondary institutions close attainment gaps for low-income students. It expands the concept of "financial supports" for college beyond grants, scholarships, and loans and describes six college-tested strategies for helping low-income students overcome the significant challenges created by limited financial resources, such as nutrition, housing, childcare, and transportation, as well as legal, tax, and financial matters. BFA features both a self-assessment that college teams can use to analyze their service capacities and an interpretation guide to help map out their first steps toward strengthening these capacities. This resource can aid California community colleges in a number of reform efforts already underway, including the Student Equity Plan and the Student Success and Support Program (SSSP) implementation.


Visit the BFA website to:

  • Download the full guidebook and self-assessment
  • Browse FAQs
  • Discover upcoming learning opportunities
  • Contribute your own BFA story


Contact to:

  • Inquire about assistance in adopting and implementing BFA 
  • Ask questions about these resources and provide feedback on the utility and effectiveness of the guidebook and self-assessment; BFA aims to release a revised edition incorporating input from the field in 2016


The RP Group partnered with the National Center for Inquiry and Improvement (project lead) to develop this resource on behalf of the Lumina Foundation