E-town commits to increasing educational opportunities to low- to moderate- income students
March 8, 2017   //   By:   //   Campus & Community, Campus and Community

Elizabethtown College has joined the American Talent Initiative (ATI), alongside Duke, Georgetown, Harvard, Johns Hopkins and Princeton universities, Franklin & Marshall College and other top institutions of higher education. This growing alliance is committed to increasing the educational opportunities to low- to moderate- income students.

With funding partner, Bloomberg Philanthropies, ATI is focused on colleges and universities with six-year graduation rates, consistently above 70 percent–Elizabethtown boasts 74.3–and the alliance goal is to bring on an additional 100 colleges and universities in the next few years Elizabethtown is one of the first to join. Elizabethtown College President Carl Strikwerda met for ATI’s inaugural Presidential Roundtable Feb. 22, 2017, in New York City.

As college-age demographics shift, higher education institutions need to adapt to serve a variety of students not presently on their radars. Today, the majority of high school students are from minority groups, and many are first-generation college applicants who, often, need financial assistance.

Unfortunately, highly talented lower-income students are less likely to graduate with a college degree than their high-income peers because they are denied financial access. Across the nation, only 25 percent of students who fall in the bottom half of the income distribution enroll in institutions with higher graduation rates. Even so, there are at least 12,500 low- and moderate-income high school seniors each year with SAT scores and GPAs that make them exceptionally qualified to enroll in highly selective institutions.

About the Author :

E.A. (Elizabeth) Harvey is the communications manager and news editor at Elizabethtown College. She has worked in the Office of Marketing and Communications since 2008, after more than two decades as a newspaper feature writer. She holds a bachelor's degree in corporate communication from Elizabethtown College.