The University of Michigan has “substantially decreased the average net price for students” from low-income backgrounds and has worked aggressively to recruit them to apply.
That’s according to a progress report released this week by the American Talent Initiative, a national effort that brings together more than 100 colleges and universities under the shared goal of increasing enrollment for low- and moderate-income students.
U-M has enrolled an additional 552 students eligible for federal Pell grants this year than it did two years ago when the initiative began, the report acknowledges.
“It is our fundamental belief at the University of Michigan that a student’s economic background should never limit their college prospects,” said Kedra Ishop, associate vice provost for enrollment management. “We’re proud to partner with so many of other institutions around the country that share this ideology.
“Our message to students is this: If you’re prepared for Michigan, then we’re prepared to support you financially.”
U-M was one of 30 founding members that joined forces in December 2016 with the specific goal of increasing by 50,000 the number of low- and moderate-income students enrolled by 2025. The initiative, which was launched by Bloomberg Philanthropies, has since grown to 108 institutions, including 29 public institutions.
In the past two years, member institutions have increased their collective enrollment of Pell-eligible students by 7,300.
“Unfortunately, many high-achieving, lower-income students across the country don’t even apply to — let alone graduate from — the high-graduation-rate colleges and universities they’re qualified to attend. These students lose out on the resources of the schools that give them the best chance for success,” wrote Michael Bloomberg, founder of Bloomberg LP, in the report’s foreward.
“Schools lose out on some of the most talented and promising students. And our country loses out, too, because so many Americans aren’t given the chance to reach their full potential and fully contribute to our society and economy.”
While the report acknowledges the progress made by a number of public and private institutions, it specifically calls out U-M for a number of innovative initiatives. They include the HAIL Scholarship, which provides a four-year tuition and fees scholarship for qualifying lower-income, in-state students, as well as the Go Blue Guarantee.
The Go Blue Guarantee provides free tuition to in-state students from families with annual incomes at or below $65,000 and who have less than $50,000 in assets. It also provides tuition support to qualified Michigan families with incomes up to $180,000. The guarantee is accompanied by an aggressive recruitment effort to increase applications from lower-income students.