Top Colleges Enhance Efforts To Enroll Low-Income Students

As the cost of college continues to rise, college enrollment is becoming out of reach for low-income students.   According to the College Board, the average cost of tuition and fees for the 2017–2018 school year was $34,740 at private colleges, $9,970 for state residents at public colleges, and $25,620 for out-of-state residents attending public universities.

Launched in December 2016, the American Talent Initiative (ATI), funded by Bloomberg Philanthropies, was founded with a national goal of educating 50,000 additional high-achieving, lower-income students at the 270 colleges and universities with the highest graduation rates by 2025.

Based on the most recent federal data available, there are approximately 430,000 lower-income students enrolled at these 270 institutions.  ATI aims to increase and sustain the total number of lower-income students attending these top-performing colleges to about 480,000 by 2025. To reach this ambitious goal, ATI will work to support its members’ work while adding more top-performing colleges to its membership in the coming months and years. 

ATI now has 97 member colleges that are taking the steps toward socio-economic diversity in colleges. Each ATI member institution has started to enhance its own efforts to recruit, enroll, and support lower-income students, learn from each other, and contribute to research that will help other colleges and universities effectively serve lower-income students

Educators, college administrators and legislature recognize that America’s top-performing colleges have an important role to play in this effort.  Research shows that when high-achieving, lower-income students attend high-performing institutions, they graduate at higher rates, and have a greater chance of attaining leadership positions and other opportunities throughout their lives.  Yet in each graduating high school class, there are at least 12,500 lower-income young people with outstanding academic credentials who do not enroll at institutions where they have the greatest likelihood of graduating…

ATI currently represents many of the country’s most elite colleges and universities.  To date, all the Ivy League schools are ATI members.   Here is a direct effect of ATI:  After 28 years without transfer students, Princeton University will begin accepting students from community colleges in fall 2018.

Dr. Paul Reginald Lowe, founder and managing director of Pinnacle Educational Center Admissions Advisors Group, provides comprehensive counseling advice, exclusively for admissions to top private schools; Ivy League and highly-selective colleges/universities; BS/MD programs; graduate and medical schools and top visual and performing arts programs.   The admissions affiliate: Ivy League Admissions Advisors specializes in admissions to Ivy League and highly selective colleges,  Dr. Lowe also specializes in helping students who have been wait-listed, deferred or rejected gain admission into their top-choice schools: College Application Rejected. and student who wish to transfer to another college:  College Transfer Admissions Advisors.

Top Colleges and Student Debt

College Financial Aid

Many expensive private non-profit four-year colleges try to keep student borrowing low by giving generous financial aid to undergraduates from lower-income families.  Among highly selective private non-profit colleges, Harvard University was the most successful in keeping federal student-loan debt low for its graduates who took out such loans.  Six Ivy League schools, including Harvard, were among the top 25 on that measure. The list below shows a school and the median debt for its graduates.

1.  Harvard U. – $6,500

2.  Duke U. – $7,500 | Princeton U. – $7,500

4.  Rice U. – $10,228

5.  Pomona College – $11,000

6.  Piedmont International U. – $11,326

7.  Cornell U. – $12,000

8.  Stanford U. – $12,475

9.  Amherst College – $12,975

10.  Haverford College – $13,000

11.  Grinnell College – $13,170

12.  Dartmouth College – $13,462

13.  Yale U. – $13,500

14.  Vanderbilt U. – $14,000

15.  California Institute of Technology – $14,350

16.  Bates College – $14,450

17.  U. of Chicago – $14,500

18.  Williams College – $14,583

19.  Franklin W. Olin College of Engineering – $14,710

20.  Claremont McKenna College – $14,968

21.  Brown U. – $15,000 | John Hopkins U. – $15,000

23.  Georgetown U. – $15,500

24.  Hamilton College (NY) – $15,760

25.  Middlebury College – $15,889

Source:  U.S. Department of Education, National Student Loan Data System

Keep this in mind as you make your plans for college admissions!


Dr. Paul Reginald Lowe is the managing director of Pinnacle Educational Center Admissions Advisors Group network. He and his team of admissions advisors, through the admissions affiliate, Ivy League Admissions Advisors help students gain admissions to Ivy League and high selective colleges and universities.