The White House has announced commitments from organizations across the country in support of efforts to expand access to college for low-income students.
During the College Opportunity Day of Action on December 4, colleges, universities, nonprofit organizations, and foundations committed to a total of six hundred actions aimed at boosting the number of students prepared for and completing college. Participating groups were urged to commit to one of four areas: building networks of colleges focused on promoting completion, creating K-16 partnerships around college readiness, investing in high school counselors as part of the First Lady's Reach Higher initiative, and increasing the number of college graduates in the fields of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. The commitments, which are expected to affect hundreds of thousands of students, are designed to strengthen STEM education; increase the number of career-ready college graduates; enhance college readiness by establishing partnerships among high schools, community colleges, and four-year colleges and universities; and improve student access to highly trained school counselors.
As part of the effort, President Obama announced $10 million in funding to promote college completion programs and a $30 million AmeriCorps program to improve low-income students' access to college; the Michael & Susan Dell Foundation announced a six-year, $30 million commitment to increase college enrollment and college graduation rates among low-income students through the Dell Scholars Program; and the Leona M. and Harry B. Helmsley Charitable Trust awarded $10 million in support of nationally scalable efforts in support of STEM student success in less-resourced communities. Other commitments were announced by the Opportunity Network, the Jack Kent Cooke Foundation, the National College Advising Corps, Blue Engine, iMentor, OneGoal.
"As a longtime champion of high-achieving, low-income students, we are proud to be able to help the Department of Education make the White House College Opportunity Summit possible," said Harold Levy, executive director of the Jack Kent Cooke Foundation. "Our commitments today will make a difference by benefiting thousands of students who might not otherwise go to college."