February 21, 2019

Susquehanna University joined more than 100 colleges and universities in an alliance to substantially expand the number of talented, low- and moderate-income students at America’s undergraduate institutions with the highest graduation rates.

The American Talent Initiative (ATI) brings together a diverse set of public and private institutions united in a shared goal of educating 50,000 additional high-achieving, lower-income students across the country by 2025.

Each college and university participating in ATI identifies its own strategies to contribute to the collective goal. Over the coming months, Susquehanna will develop action plans to recruit more students from economically diverse backgrounds, ensure that admitted lower-income students enroll and engage in campus life, and minimize gaps in progression and graduation rates between students of differing socioeconomic backgrounds.

“Susquehanna’s history of providing a transformative, world-class education to meritorious students with modest financial resources is a point of pride for me and remains one of our most important aspirations,” said University President Jonathan D. Green. “We are committed to supporting these students socially, academically, and financially, from before they arrive on campus to graduation and beyond.”

ATI, which welcomed its first members in December 2016, works with institutions across the country that graduate at least 70 percent of their students in six years-a threshold that just under 300 colleges, including Susquehanna, achieve. ATI aims to increase the total number of low- and moderate-income students enrolled at these institutions from about 480,000 to 530,000 by 2025.

While many ATI member institutions have existing efforts to support lower-income students on their campuses, what sets Susquehanna and other members’ ATI-related work apart is that they are working collectively toward a common national goal. ATI institutions are creating a community of practice where members convene regularly to share best practices and contribute to research that will help other colleges and universities effectively serve lower-income students.

ATI is co-managed by the Aspen Institute College Excellence Program and Ithaka S+R and funded by Bloomberg Philanthropies.