Leaders of State College Systems Pledge to Cut Racial and Socioeconomic Gaps in Enrollment and Graduation Rates

The leaders of 19 state college systems have come together to pledge to close the gap in college enrollments and graduation rates between low-income or minority students and the student population as a whole. The goal is to cut the gap in enrollment and graduation rates in half over the next eight years.

As part of the effort, the systems have agreed to publish a wide range of data on enrollment and graduation trends among low-income and minority students. Data on enrollments and graduation rates by race are already widely reported but the data by income levels will be breaking new ground.

Each institution will formulate its own strategy for improving the enrollment and graduation rates of blacks and other minorities as well as low-income students. But they have pledged to share information on their success.

One key element in the strategy is a promise to increase need-based financial aid. The universities will also be looking to beef up remedial education programs, seek ways to better prepare students for college, and to improve introductory courses in the curriculum so that students will get off to a good start.

While 19 state college systems agreed to join the effort, as did the University of Puerto Rico System, 35 members of the National Association of System Heads declined to participate.

The 19 state systems participating in this joint effort are listed below. Included on the list is the Southern University System of historically black campuses in Louisiana.

University of Arkansas System   

Minnesota State College and Universities

California State University System 
Mississippi Institutions of Higher Learning
City University of New York
University of Missouri System
Connecticut State University System
Montana University System
State University System of Florida
Rhode Island Board of Higher Education
University of Hawaii System
South Dakota Board of Regents
Kentucky Council on Postsecondary Education
Southern University System
University of Louisiana System
State University of New York
University of Maine System
Vermont State Colleges
University System of Maryland