Gaps in college completion persist between low- and high-income students. These disparities can be attributed in large part to a lack of college affordability and information asymmetries about the process of accessing financial assistance as well as other campus-based resources and supports. While substantial policy investments have been made to address these inequalities, such as expanded financial aid programs and increased investments in college advising, these programs are not always fully utilized by students who might benefit from them. In this essay, we apply a behavioral economics perspective to examine how financial constraints affect students' navigation of the complex processes–financial, academic, and otherwise–required to succeed in American higher education. We conclude with a discussion of evidence-based behavioral strategies that policy-makers and educators can draw on to proactively mitigate these behavioral obstacles and improve student success.