New alliance debuts to retain needy students

New alliance aims to bring colleges and universities to collaborate on best practices to retain low-income students

alliance-needy-studentAn alliance of 11 major colleges and universities debuted earlier this week in an effort to keep low-income and first-generation students in school long enough to receive a degree.

The alliance, which is about 15 months old, had its public rollout at the Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Center in Washington, D.C.

And the problem it faces is acute: High-income students today are seven times more likely to earn a college degree than their low-income counterparts, and at the same time the U.S. economy is projected to have a shortage of 16 million college graduates by 2025. Higher-income students are maxed out; it’s the lower- and middle-income graduates that colleges need to keep the United States economically competitive.

The alliance aims to do something that is relatively unusual in higher education: Have colleges and universities accustomed to competing against one another collaborate instead, sharing ideas on how best to keep low-income students in school long enough to earn their degree.

(Next page: Successful strategies)

eSchool Media Contributors