Colleges Commit to Increasing Access for Low-Income Students

WH LogoMore than 100 college presidents along with several directors of nonprofit organizations came to the White House on January 16 for the Expanding College Opportunity Summit. The academic leaders were addressed by Michelle Obama and President Obama.

Leaders of 119 institutions made commitments to increase financial aid programs for low-income students, boost outreach efforts to recruit students from low-income families, or take other measures to increase access to their institutions for students from socioeconomically disadvantaged backgrounds. Several institutions committed to increasing their participation with the Posse Foundation or Questbridge, organizations that are focused on increasing educational opportunities for low-income students.

Here is a sample of commitments made by some high-ranking institutions at the summit:

Brown University has made plans to begin a new paid internship program for students receiving need-based financial aid.

Columbia University will fund an outreach program that will pay travel costs for current undergraduate students to return home to recruit low-income students.

Harvard College announced plans to increase outreach efforts to low-income students through social media.

Princeton University has hired a new admissions officer who is charged with increasing outreach to students from low-income families.

The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill will double the size of its Chancellor’s Science Scholars Program that provides financial aid and support programs for low-income students in STEM fields.

Spelman College pledged to raise $1 million to support its President’s Safety Net program which provides financial aid for junior and seniors who would not be able to complete their degrees without additional assistance.

Pomona College set a goal of increasing its percentage of students receiving federal Pell Grants from 17 percent to 20 percent.

Northeastern University pledged to provide 30 new full-tuition scholarships for low-income students from the Boston Public School system.

Download the complete list of all the commitments here.

Below is a video of President Obama’s remarks at the summit.


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