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Colleges that are most successful in promoting cultural diversity have five major characteristics in common, according to a new report from the Association for the Study of Higher Education and the eric Clearinghouse on Higher Education.

Studies have shown that these institutions provide students with the tools for success; increase coordination with elementary and secondary grades and better communication between community colleges and four-year institutions; build an accepting environment; provide access to good information that focuses on the institution and students; and include leaders of the faculty and administration in this process, the report says.

Women's colleges and historically black colleges and universities can provide special insights into fostering diversity, according to the report, "The Challenge of Diversity: Involvement or Alienation in the Academy?"

The report's author is Daryl G. Smith of the Claremont Graduate School in Claremont, Calif.

Copies of the report are available for $15 each from the Association for the Study of Higher Education/eric Clearinghouse on Higher Education, One Dupont Circle, Suite 630, Washington, D.C. 20036-1183.

The federal government's shift in financial-aid emphasis from grants to loans in the 1980's has contributed to a decline in college-going by students from poor families, a report from the American College Testing Program concludes.

The proportion of college students from families whose incomes were in the lowest one-tenth of earnings fell from 10.7 percent in 1977 to 8.2 percent in 1987, the report says.

From 1980 to 1986, the number of poor students using grants declined by 15 percent, while the number using loans increased by 7 percent.

Copies of "The Impact of Increased Loan Utilization Among Low Family Income Students," are available free from act Educational and Social Research, P.O. Box 168, Iowa City, Iowa 52243.

The Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching and the College Board have developed a videotape to help students and parents select a college.

Participants in the video include Ernest L. Boyer, president of the foundation; Donald Stewart, president of the College Board; and Frank Burtnett, president of the National Association of College Admission Counselors.

Copies of the tape, "From High School to College: Choice and Transition," are $100 each and may be ordered from the Carnegie Foundation, 5 Ivy Lane, Princeton, N.J. 08540.--mw

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