May 15, 2017

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This article by Roger Riddell originally appeared on Education Dive

Dive Brief:

  • New data from a Vibe Effect survey shows low-income students from households with a $35,000 income or lower are equally likely to be considered “high-thriving” and equally represented among “high-thrivers,” eCampus News reports.
  • Additionally, the survey found that holding a part-time job for 10-19 hours a week increased the likelihood of low-income students thriving, that 81% of low-income high-thrivers felt skills and experiences gained in higher education would be relevant after graduation, and 68% had parents with “only some college or less,” while that number fell to 7% for their high-income peers.
  • The survey covers students from 5,000 households across 1,000 institutions, 91 student traits, socioeconomic and academic experiences across 59 demographics, and 110 campus ecosystem features, according to eCampus News.

Dive Insight:

This is important news for admissions officers, who may feel that low-income students pose more of a risk at a four-year college or university. These students are just as capable of thriving as those from more affluent households, but institutions and policymakers must also consider that they may need more resources.

Expanding access and services for these students was a hot topic of conversation during a panel at the annual ASU+GSV Summit in Salt Lake City last week. As Strada Education Network Vice President of Analytics Carlo Salerno pointed out, he could think of “100 reasons” why a person might not succeed that has nothing to do with the institution. For these students, an unexpected expense like a car repair, for example, could potentially derail their path to a degree. One example schools might look to in figuring out how to boost access could be Paul Quinn College President Michael Sorrell, who was able to cut tuition by $10,000 with his “New Urban College Model.”