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Posted June 13, 2013 by

Invest in the Success of Low-Income Students

Michelle Asha Cooper

Michelle Asha Cooper, Ph.D., President of the Institute for Higher Education Policy

For several years, I have watched the higher education community engage in hand-wringing over strategies for improving the educational outcomes for low- and moderate-income students. At present, low-income students remain less likely to enroll and complete college, when compared to their higher-income peers. Given these trends, the attention being dedicated to these students is certainly warranted. However, long-standing efforts designed to improve the outcomes for low- and moderate-income students, such as the federal Pell grants and TRIO programs, are constantly being thrashed and called ineffective. This chorus of opposition is growing more and more audible. While there is a need to enhance these programs to effectively serve more deserving students, I do believe that it is not in our best interest to scrutinize the outputs of these programs, without simultaneously scrutinizing the inputs. (more…)