11 Research U's Improve Low-Income Graduation Rates

March 3, 2016

The University Innovation Alliance this week announced a three-percentage-point collective increase in the proportion of degrees earned by low-income students at its 11 research university members. The improvement occurred in the less than two years since the group formed, with goals of producing more graduates, graduating more students across the socioeconomic spectrum, sharing data and jointly working on completion-related innovations.

The group's members also decreased their gap in graduation rates between low-income students and their wealthier peers. And six of the universities each increased their number of low-income graduates by more than 19 percent. The UIA also announced new funding by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the Ford Foundation and USA Funds. Its members are Arizona State, Georgia State, Iowa State, Michigan State, Ohio State, Oregon State and Purdue Universities, and the Universities of California at Riverside, Central Florida, Kansas and Texas at Austin.

“This growth reflects the commitment of our campus leaders to graduate more students across the socioeconomic spectrum, setting a powerful example for others,” said Bridget Burns, the UIA's executive director. “When the power of predictive analytics and other best practices are implemented broadly across Alliance campuses, we expect the gains to be even greater. If all other four-year public colleges and universities in the U.S. increased their graduation rates at the UIA’s pace over the next decade, we would add 1.3 million college graduates to the workforce.”

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