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College Success

A Decade of Gains and Gaps in College Graduation Rates: A Q&A With Kimberlee Eberle-Sudré

Today, we released a new analysis, looking at a decade of graduation rates at four-year, public institutions. The report — titled Rising Tide: Do College Grad Rate Gains Benefit All Students? — shows that the majority of institutions have made improvements in these last 10 years, but those improvements don’t always translate into gains for everyone. I spoke with Kimberlee Eberle-Sudré, one of the authors of the report, to learn more.

Hey Mizzou, It’s Time to Step Up

Now that the University of Missouri’s president has resigned and the chancellor has announced that he’ll step down at the end of the year, hopefully students’ concerns will be addressed. Of all Concerned Student 1950’s list of demands, there is one that particularly impressed me because of its urgency in requiring a plan of action:

We All Deserve to Know Grad Rates for Pell Students

Like many students, my college decision was based largely on the price I would have to pay — tuition, financial aid, and in-state vs. out-of-state costs all had an influence. However, there was one other factor I should have paid close attention to — one that would have solidified for me and my mother whether my investment was a sound decision — and that is graduation rates for Pell Grant recipients.

 

Coalition Letter Opposing Gainful Employment Riders

A letter to all Members of Congress from more than 50 organizations expressing strong opposition to any appropriations rider that would block or delay implementation of the gainful employment regulation.

How Best To Serve Pell Students? These Colleges Know How

The Pell Partnership, our latest report, has been noted for “debunk[ing] the notion that Pell grants are somehow being wasted.” And it’s true. Quite a few colleges and universities across the country are serving low-income students well — that is, they are graduating them at the same rates as (or in some cases, even better than) their peers from high-income families.

We spoke with nearly a dozen of these schools to learn more about how they recruit, support (academically and financially), and otherwise ensure low-income students a fair chance at a postsecondary degree.

Many Colleges Aren’t Doing Enough to Fulfill the Promise of the Pell Grant Program

Several recent reports have estimated a significant gap in the college completion rates of the low-income students who receive federal Pell Grants and other college students, leading some to question the effectiveness of this investment of taxpayer dollars. But, according to a new report and online data tool we’re releasing today, the average graduation gap between Pell and non-Pell students at the institutional level is much smaller: only 5.7 percentage points.

Finally, Help for Pell Students at Closed Campuses

When colleges shutter their campuses, who’s harmed the most? Students are, especially low-income students. They are the ones with the least protection. That’s why it was so refreshing to see Rep. Bobby Scott (D-Va.) and Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.) stand up for them by introducing the “Pell Restoration Act of 2015,” which will allow Pell Grant recipients the ability to continue their education at another institution.

The Impact of Student Employment on College Completion

See how holding down a job can negatively impact Pell students' chances of graduating.

Setting the Record Straight on Pell

Since Hechinger Report released its analysis on the graduation rates of Pell Grant recipients, some people have called the effectiveness of the Pell Grant program into question. Lost in those arguments, though, are three crucial points about the program:

Pell Grants Provide Access; Institutions Must Support Completion

The Hechinger Report just published an article on the graduation rates of Pell Grant recipients at 82 of the largest public and private institutions in the nation. Considering nearly 9 million low-income students receive Pell Grants annually, it’s a topic that we care deeply about. In fact, we’ve spent the last year collecting and analyzing the graduation rates of these very students. And, in a few weeks, we’ll share what we found.

Why You Shouldn’t Judge a College By its Cover

Victory University.

Just the name alone makes it sound like the most magical school on earth, doesn’t it? It conjures up visions of a campus filled with opportunity, graduates walking away with their caps and gowns and dream jobs making more money than anyone could imagine.

An Open Letter to College Dropout Factories

Dear College Dropout Factories,

As part of our quest to increase the public demand for greater accountability in higher education, The Education Trust has continued our commitment to identifying four-year colleges and universities that fail to graduate the vast majority of their students in a timely fashion. Roughly 95 percent of all other four-year institutions have higher graduation rates than you do. This year, 113 institutions made the list of college dropout factories, 65 of which were on this same list last year...

A Plan for Making College Affordable

If you’ve been following #highered on social media lately, you may have noticed that college affordability and student loan debt are attracting attention of the 2016 presidential contenders. Many candidates harp on colleges to lower costs and on states to increase their funding, but any solution to making college more affordable needs to do more...

What I Didn’t Know About Choosing a College

When I was a high school senior (many moons ago), I thought I was well-equipped to make the best college choice for me. I had read the brochures (Google wasn’t a thing back then); talked with my school counselor as well as friends and family; and visited campuses to check things out in person. After doing all of that and receiving acceptance letters and financial aid packages, I made a decision...

An Updated College Results Online = More Data for You

College Results Online has been updated with the most recent data from the federal government (2012-13), giving you even more information to compare in this one-stop shop tool. At CollegeResults.org — now in its 10th year of compiling and sharing critical information on colleges across the country — you can select nearly any four-year college or university and compare its graduation rate with that of similar institutions serving similar students.

Working Toward a Fresh Start for Corinthian Students

Imagine this: You’re 24, have your high school diploma, and have been working in a low-wage job for six years when you see an advertisement for a new career training program at a local, for-profit university. The ad promises to teach the latest, cutting-edge skills that will guarantee you a high-paying career...

First Come, Last Served

University Does Not Do Enough to Accommodate First-Generation Students

This blog was cross-posted from The Chicago Maroon, by Lynda Lopez

Recently, UChicago has shown an increased commitment to recruiting low-income students through initiatives such as QuestBridge and UChicago Promise. Fifty-one students in the Class of 2018 received full four-year scholarships through QuestBridge, the highest among all 35 partner colleges; 73 students in the Class of 2017 benefited from UChicago Promise, which includes a guarantee of no loans for Chicago residents who attended Chicago high schools and are admitted to the College.

All these initiatives are great, but what happens after these students arrive on campus? Many of them are also first-generation, meaning they are the first in their families to attend college.

Being a low-income, first-generation college student can be like jumping into a pool without knowing how to swim. As the daughter of immigrants with no college graduates in my family, I didn’t have a good idea of what to do once I was here. I didn’t know how to ask professors or TAs for help or how to pick the right classes. Everything was foreign to me.