U of California System among nation's best at graduating Pell Grant recipients
- According to a recent study by Third Way, the University of California System is doing significantly better than other four-year colleges and universities enrolling and graduating low-income students. UC campuses claim seven of the top 10 spots for public institutions with the best graduation rates for Pell Grant recipients.
- A story in the Atlantic reported that the UC system commits to preparing low-income students in high school for admission eligibility, and engaging with them throughout the college selection and financial aid application processes with outreach inside and outside of school hours. Once students arrive on campus, the system continues its support with academic interventions.
- The UC system is among the nation’s most well-positioned for success in supporting low-income students because of growing labor markets and stable appropriations to higher education in the state are among the strongest in the country.
Just as important in the discussion about support for low-income students is the will for systems and individual colleges to take bold steps in improving retention and graduation rates for vulnerable groups. This takes place when campuses move beyond the concepts of tuition assistance and housing as the primary challenges to student persistence, and expand the definition of support to include child care, transportation, mental health services and technology to help students manage time and coursework with greater ease.
But resources still count; in an era where many smaller colleges are using tuition discounting to enroll students while sacrificing revenues and campus services, those institutions that understand the value of enrolling diverse student groups and strengthening programs with unique industrial ties should benefit from robust enrollment management and strong student outcomes.