By their nature, free tuition programs are stacked against low-income students. The reason is that college costs include much more than tuition: Room and board, books, computers, transportation and other living expenses are often higher than the original tuition price. Middle-class and well-off students can afford those expenses much more easily than low-income students. Low-income students, unable to afford the basic costs of living during their college years, are less likely to take advantage of a state tuition-only grant to begin with because of the total costs they face, and if they do get one, they are at higher risk of dropping out for financial reasons.
Source: latimes.com – Los Angeles Times