Education Opinion

Helping One Million More Low-Income Students Attain College Degrees

By Matthew Lynch — May 01, 2014 2 min read
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College For Every Student (CFES) and Trinity College Dublin will take the lead in a global campaign to help one million disadvantaged youth attain college degrees by 2025.

“We will leverage the knowledge and commitment of our networks to ensure that these young people capitalize on the radical changes occurring in higher education,” said Rick Dalton president and CEO of CFES. “They’ll succeed by turning challenges into assets, and by acting on innovative new opportunities to achieve their potential.”

The One Million More Campaign grew out of a summit in early April where 60 educational, corporate and philanthropic leaders from seven nations explored how to get more low-income students to and through college and what higher education will look like in 2025.

Here’s a link to a white paper that summarizes findings and provides details on the College 2025 Summit.

The attainment of college degrees by low-income students is a global opportunity crisis that is most pronounced in the United States, where low-income students are twelve times less likely to attain bachelor’s degrees than their high-income peers. Bill Fitzsimmons, dean of admissions and financial aid at Harvard College, calls this “an outrage, a human rights issue.”

“We can solve this crisis by understanding how very different the college experience will be in the near future - and by making sure more students have the will, the means and academic staying power to succeed when they get there,” said Cliona Hannon, director of the Trinity Access Programmes at Trinity College Dublin.

The Summit white paper cites these qualities and characteristics of colleges in 2025:

• Most students will no longer enter and complete college in a fixed timeframe;

• Colleges will face greater demands for accountability when it comes to cost, debt and graduation rates for low-income students;

• Digital learning will lower college costs for many;

• The gap between high and low resourced colleges will widen significantly, pushing colleges that are unable to evolve to extinction.

CFES and Trinity College Dublin will create an International Task Force to carry out the One Million More campaign through partnerships with colleges, corporations and nonprofits, raising resources and creating more effective pathways to higher education for economically disadvantaged young people.

“There’s a better world out there for our children, and a college degree is the best path to that world of opportunity,”said Dalton.

Dr. Matthew Lynch is the author of the recently released book, The Call to Teach: An Introduction to Teaching. To order it via Amazon, please click on the followinglink.

The opinions expressed in Education Futures: Emerging Trends in K-12 are strictly those of the author(s) and do not reflect the opinions or endorsement of Editorial Projects in Education, or any of its publications.