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University Innovation Alliance Boosts Low-Income Grads 25 Percent

The number of low-income students graduating from institutions participating in the University Innovation Alliance (UIA) is up 24.7 percent, according to information released by the organization.

Launched in 2014, the UIA is a collection of 11 public research universities aiming to increase the number of degrees awarded and the socioeconomic diversity of graduates by identifying and replicating promising innovations. Member institutions have also raised the total number of graduate degrees they've awarded from 79,170 to 86,436, an increase of 9.2 percent.

"In just three years, member institutions have implemented and scaled three successful initiatives, including putting in place programs that leverage predictive analytics and academic advising to identify and intervene with students at risk of dropping out of college, and building the next generation of campus leaders who can drive innovation on their campuses," according to a news release. "Most recently, the UIA announced its fourth scaling project to provide students at its member universities with completion grants to help ensure that potential graduates aren't derailed by financial challenges."

Participating institutions include University of Central Florida, Oregon State University, Arizona State University, University of Kansas, Georgia State University, Purdue University, Ohio State University, University of California at Riverside, Iowa State University, University of Texas at Austin and Michigan State University.

"Improving outcomes for low income and underserved students has to start with transparency. Three years ago, 11 presidents and chancellors set ambitious public goals and agreed to hold each other accountable by publicly reporting on their progress," said Bridget Burns, executive director of the UIA."We believe the progress we're announcing today is significant. At the same time, the opaqueness around results for Pell grantees — often a proxy for low-income students — makes it difficult for us to benchmark our progress nationally. We hope that more universities join us in setting and reporting on ambitious goals so that together we can help unlock the promise of a postsecondary degree for more students."  

For more information, visit theuia.org.

About the Author

Joshua Bolkan is contributing editor for Campus Technology, THE Journal and STEAM Universe. He can be reached at jbolkan@gmail.com.

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