Blog

New Graduation Data on Pell Recipients Reveals a Gap in Outcomes

In 2015-16, the federal government disbursed more than $28 billion under the Pell Grant program to 7.6 million students, representing almost 40 percent of undergraduates in the United States. Because eligibility for the grant depends largely on financial need, many researchers use it as a proxy for income, although there are limitations. Despite the size and scope of the program and its importance in socioeconomic and higher education research, outcomes…

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Event

Universities Speak Up for Low Income Students
Martin Kurzweil Joins Panel Discussion at the NACAC National Conference

On September 15, from 10:15 am - 11:30 am, Martin Kurzweil will take part in a panel discussion, "American Talent Initiative: Universities Speak Up for Low-Income Students," at the NACAC Conference in Boston. The American Talent Initiative (ATI) was announced in December 2016, aiming to add 50,000 highly-qualified students from modest backgrounds to campuses with high graduation rates by the year 2025. Inside Higher Ed quickly named it as a trend…


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Can Financial Aid for Non-Traditional Education Programs Help Low-Income Students?

Last October, the federal Department of Education announced the launch of Educational Quality through Innovative Partnerships (EQUIP), a pilot program inviting partnerships between non-traditional education providers and accredited institutions of higher education. A key component of the program is its target population: low- and moderate-income students. Under a provision of the Higher Education Act, accredited institutions are ineligible to receive federal financial aid for programs in which 50 percent or…

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Does Financial Aid Help Those Who Need it Most?

As tuition and fees at public and private not-for-profit four-year institutions continue to rise, so does the role of financial assistance, particularly for low- and moderate-income students. Yet, recent reports show that the distribution of financial aid is far from equitable. Last month, an Atlantic article highlighted an array of college-affordability efforts–including private and employer grants, the federal work-study program, and federal tax credits–that often fail to provide financial assistance…

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The Perfect Demographic Storm

This month, some 3.3 million teenagers will graduate from American high schools. If recent history is any guide, around 65 percent of them will go directly on to college this fall. While many more campuses are being filled with nontraditional students—working adults, part-timers, and international students—the traditional 18-to-22-year-old market remains the lifeblood of many institutions and is also the most predictable segment to forecast. For much of the past decade,…

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Will Easing the Financial Burden of Dual Enrollment Improve College Outcomes for Low-Income Students?

As I’ve noted previously, the percentage of low-income (family income in the bottom 20 percent) high school graduates that have enrolled in two- and four-year institutions declined from 55.9 percent in 2008 to 45.5 percent in 2013. Studies examining dual enrollment programs—in which students take courses for college credit while still in high school—have found that participating in such programs increases the likelihood of college degree attainment, especially for low-income…

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Trends in College Net Price for Low-Income Students

Last week, New America’s Stephen Burd published a report showing that low-income students who receive Pell grants still face a substantial financial burden to attend college, especially at private not-for-profit institutions. Looking at the average net price—“the average amount of money that students and their families have to pay after all grant and scholarship aid is deducted from the listed price”—of low-income students attending 1,400 four-year institutions, Burd found that…

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Starting from Scratch: Lessons from Guttman Community College

A growing number of America’s community colleges are redesigning their curricula, advising services, faculty development programs, and relationships with four-year institutions in order to help more students succeed. In most cases, reforms take place within existing operating structures, as gradual processes of cultural and institutional change. In contrast to institutions that reorganize existing operations around student success, Stella and Charles Guttman Community College, the newest of the City University of…

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Publication

Student Success by Design
CUNY’s Guttman Community College

A growing number of American community colleges are redesigning their curricula, advising services, faculty development programs, and relationships with four year institutions in order to help more students succeed. In most cases, reforms take place within existing operating structures, as gradual processes of cultural and institutional change. A response to dismal persistence and completion rates at community colleges, Guttman was …


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Is Changing the Application Process Enough to Improve Access to Selective Colleges?
No, But It’s a Start

Last month, a consortium of 83 selective public and private universities unveiled a plan to build a new college application system. The Coalition for Access, Affordability, and Success plans to develop a “free platform of online tools to streamline the experience of applying to college.” The most notable part of this platform would be its “virtual locker,” a portfolio in which students could store different types of content—from creative work,…

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