ACHAB: promoting access to university for young people from economically disadvantaged families

22/11/2017 There are several approaches that can be taken to address the affordability of university education, a controversial issue in most countries. The aim of the ACHAB project was to test the effectiveness of a particular type of asset building in facilitating access to post-secondary education.

The action provides a simple mechanism for low-income high school students in their 4th or 5th year that enables saving regularly small amounts of money, already as their children attend high school. The savings will then result in a large grant for access to university education.

FBK-IRVAPP, in collaboration with ASVAPP, with the financial support of Ufficio Pio della Compagnia di S. Paolo and with the political-administrative patronage of the Piedmont Regional School Office, won the EU Commission call VP/2013/012, entitled Progress. In particular, IRVAPP and ASVAPP have proposed to Pio Ufficio, which has accepted, to make available the necessary funds to conduct an experiment aimed at promoting access to university for young people from economically disadvantaged families.

To this end, Ufficio Pio has issued a call for Turin Province-based high school students in the fourth and fifth years and their families, by virtue of which families undertake to put money aside (min. €5 and max €50 per month) and Uffico Pio matches the final amount saved with a 4 times higher contribution.

The families that actually benefit from this action have been chosen randomly among all those who have participated in the call. FBK-IRVAPP, tapping into the surveys carried out on the training and working choices of the students of the Province of Trento, developed the model used in the preparation of the above mentioned randomization procedure.