Details of College Commitments to Help Low-Income Students

January 16, 2014

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Commitments made at Thursday’s White House summit by 24 states and more than 100 institutions address a wide range of barriers to college access, including those involving financial aid, college preparation, technology, and community engagement. Descriptions of the commitments are from the White House list.


About the Data

Most data come from the U.S. Department of Education's Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System and cover fall 2012 or the 2011-12 academic year. The percentage of students receiving financial aid and the percentage of students receiving Pell Grants include only first-time, full-time undergraduates in fall 2012. The percentage of adults over the age of 25 with a bachelor's degree or higher comes from the 2012 American Community Survey. Average public tuition is the average tuition at four-year public colleges. Underrepresented minorities are students who are African-American, Hispanic, or Native American.

Commitments were categorized based on the following characteristics:

Financial aid: Commitments to increase the amount or number of grants and scholarships available to students with financial need.

Outreach: Commitments to expand outreach efforts with high schools and community colleges to increase mentoring, recruiting, and advising.

Enrollment: Commitments to increase enrollment of low-income students, including efforts to ease the transferring process from community colleges.

Technology: Commitments to expand online education programs and deliver information about the college-application process.

Remedial education: Commitments to push students to excel beyond remedial-level coursework and establish new college-readiness assessment policies.

College preparation: Commitments to prepare low-income and first-generation students for the rigor of college-level coursework with programs including "summer bridge" and dual enrollment.

STEM Focus: Commitments to place special emphasis to prepare, recruit, and fund students to take science, technology, engineering, and math classes.

Community Engagement: Commitments to ensure that students, particularly low-income, first-generation students, assimilate gracefully to college life through learning communities, first-year experiences, and placements in research and internships.