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Dec 14, 2016 04:31 AM EST

Colleges And Universities Join Initiative To Help High-Achieving, Low-Income Students

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Top colleges and universities have joined the American Talent Initiative. This is part of efforts to help provide opportunities for high-achieving, low-income students.

The American Talent Initiative (ATI) aims to expand access and opportunity for talented, low- and moderate-income students by bringing top colleges and universities together. The initiative wants to have an additional 50,000 lower-income students at over 200 colleges and universities that consistently graduate at least 70 percent of their students in six years.

The cause is intended to help highly-talented, lower-income students since they are much less likely to graduate with a college degree compared to their higher-income peers. Several of these students mainly lack access, which hinders them from fully blossoming to their potential.

The American Talent Initiative has 30 founding members. It is a Bloomberg Philanthropies-supported collaboration between Aspen Institute's College Excellence Program, Ithaka S+R, along with colleges and universities.

According to Princeton University's official website, the Ivy League institution has joined the initiative. President Christopher L. Eisgruber announced that they are proud to partner with other colleges and universities in the efforts to help high-achieving, low-income students.

"That goal is critical to the United States and the world: the ability to get a college degree is often the single most important factor in determining whether young people can achieve upward mobility, realize their dreams and contribute to society," Eisgruber said.

Ivy League institution Harvard University also joined the initiative. President Drew Faust noted that the ATI will help ensure that the most talented students in the U.S. will have access to colleges and universities.

"Higher education creates possibility," Faust said. "It opens opportunities for young people to explore the meaning of their lives, to understand the lives of others, and to discover interests and ambitions across a remarkable array of fields and disciplines."

Other institutions that are part of the initiative are Georgia Tech, Duke University, Johns Hopkins University, Ohio State University, University of California - Berkeley, University of California - Los Angeles, University of Maryland and the University of Washington, among others.

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