Giving Compass’ Take:
• Marvin Krislov shares three ways that Pace University is working to recruit and support underrepresented college students.
• What are colleges in your area doing to reach these students? How can funders help schools to improve their efforts to reach underrepresented college students?
Each year, about half of our incoming class is from underrepresented groups. Nearly half are first-generation. And over a third are Pell-eligible.
We are meeting students as they are and where they are and taking them to where they want to be. This commitment contributes to Pace’s position as the top four-year, private nonprofit college in the country for upward economic mobility, according to a list compiled by The Chronicle of Higher Education based on data from the Opportunity Insights research project at Harvard University.
Our strategy, rooted in Pace’s mission, has three main pillars.
The college application and enrollment process are littered with hurdles. Students who lack financial resources or access to guidance — even the best, hardest-working ones — can struggle to navigate and clear all of them.
At Pace, we don’t look at a student or family’s income when we make our admissions decisions. We’re not always able to meet full need, but we work hard to help admitted students find a way to make it work. Our financial literacy counselors stay involved with students and families from application through enrollment, so they understand the four-year cost of college, find resources to help them pay for it and emerge as debt-free as possible.
Building a pipeline:
Our admissions staff goes on more than 800 high school visits each year, making a concerted effort to engage schools in underrepresented communities. When we find schools that regularly produce Pace students, we deepen those relationships to broaden and increase the pool of applicants, expanding opportunity among demographics that need it most. We also run workshops on financial aid and admissions in our lower Manhattan community, helping students and families understand the process.
Expanding the pool:
We’re building dual-admission programs with area community colleges, so students have a path toward a bachelor’s degree. Community college students frequently use up too much Pell Grant eligibility before getting to a four-year college. With dual admission, students plan an academic program long before arriving at Pace. By earning the right credits in community college, they’re positioned to get that bachelor’s degree on time and to use aid efficiently.
Read the full article about reaching underrepresented college students by Marvin Krislov at Education Dive.
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