Skip to content

Multimedia Case Study: Keeping Low-Income Learners on Track

How are campuses improving retention rates for Pell Grant recipients? What are innovative ways to lower DFW rates? Which student-success practices are actually moving the needle?

In an effort to highlight the work of campuses like the University of California at Riverside, The Chronicle, with support from the Ascendium Education Group, is sharing real success stories via virtual forum, audio summary, and a written case study. We invite you to dive into this content through one or all of these channels and learn how you can guide more students to graduation.

Audio Summary

In this audio summary, Katie Mangan, a Chronicle senior writer, asks questions about the university’s wrap-around approach to supporting students, peer mentoring, and financial aid.

The speakers are Louie Rodríguez, vice provost and dean in the division of undergraduate education; Robert Ream, professor of education and associate dean of student success; Jose Aguilar, executive director of financial aid; and Alyssa Ratledge, research associate of postsecondary education at Manpower Demonstration Research Corporation, who provided a national context to the conversation.

Rodríguez explains how the university focuses on validating student experiences. Ream discusses its peer-to-peer support programs, and Aguilar summarizes the various financial assistance offered to students to cover tuition and other college costs. Ratledge discusses how the university’s work fits in with a trend to offer students holistic support, and how the investment in such programs pays dividends not only for the students, but the institutions as well.

More details about the university’s efforts can be found in the recording of the virtual event and accompanying case study.

Case Study

How one college empowers low-income and first-gen students

Located in California’s Inland Empire region, the University of California at Riverside serves many low-income and first-generation students.

Nationally, those demographics are associated with low retention and graduation rates. But at Riverside, 90 percent of freshmen return for sophomore year, and students from underrepresented groups — including Pell Grant recipients — graduate at nearly the same rate as other students.

In this Case Study, learn how the University of California at Riverside improves every student’s sense of belonging and chance of success:

  • Generous financial aid and grants
  • A strong network of advisers, mentors, and tutors
  • Student groups for cultural and interpersonal connection

Virtual Forum