Colleges That Are Successful in Graduating Low-Income Students

In an effort to level the playing field for African Americans seeking higher education, the importance of the federal Pell Grant program cannot be overemphasized. This federal grant program for low-income students is the life-blood for hundreds of thousands of African Americans seeking higher education. Without this important program, many black students would not be able to enroll in higher education. Hundreds of thousands of other blacks would have to go deeper into debt or hold down a job while attending college if it were not for the Pell Grant program.

Since 1976 federal Pell Grants, named after Rhode Island Senator Claiborne Pell who championed the cause of making college more affordable, have provided money for tens of millions of low-income students. Pell Grants are awarded to undergraduate college students by the federal government based upon calculations of family size, income, and assets that could be used to finance education as well as projected tuition costs. Close to one half of all African-American undergraduate students receive federal Pell Grant awards.

But enrolling Pell Grant students is one thing. Retaining and graduating them is another. U.S. News and World Report recently published a ranking of the colleges and universities that graduate their Pell Grant students at a higher rate than for their overall student bodies.

At the top of the list is Florida Atlantic University in Boca Raton. At FAU, 71 percent of the Pell Grant students entering college in 2005 went on to earn their degree within six years. The overall graduation rate for 2005 entering students at FAU was 43 percent.

Earlham College in Indiana, Pitzer College in Claremont, California, and Moravian College in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, all had a graduation rate that was at least 15 percentage points higher for Pell Grant students than it was for their student body as a whole.

New College in Sarasota, Florida, the University of San Francisco, and Wartburg College in Iowa all had graduation rates for Pell Grant students that were 7 or more percentage points higher than students generally.

Related Articles

1 COMMENT

  1. Interesting article, as a doctoral student I recently completed a semester where I focused on the ability of HBCUs to increase educational access while maintaining academic standard; I wonder where HBCUs i.e. Howard, Hampton etc rank on this list.

    Ralston O’Connor

Leave a Reply

Get the JBHE Weekly Bulletin

Receive our weekly email newsletter delivered to your inbox

Latest News

Virginia State University Receives Approval to Launch MBA Program

“I am confident this program will equip our diverse population of men and women with the knowledge, skills, and experiences necessary to thrive in today’s ever-evolving world of business," said Emmanual Omojokun, dean of the Virginia State University College of Business.

Three Black Scholars Receive Faculty Appointments

The appointments are Erica Armstrong Dunbar at Emory University in Atlanta, Kimberly Haynie at the University of Arkansas Pine Bluff, and Kevin Vandiver at Virginia Theological Seminary.

Delaware State University Aviation Program Establishes Partnership with Endeavor Air

Through a new memorandum of understanding, students in the aviation program at Delaware State University will have the opportunity to enroll in a pathway program with Endeavor Air, ultimately leading to a priority interview with the airline company upon completion of required flight hours.

American College of Physicians Honors Bruce Ovbiagele for Advancing Diversity in Healthcare

Dr. Ovbiagele's academic career has been dedicated to eliminating local and global stroke disparities, as well as mentoring medical students and researchers from underrepresented groups.

Featured Jobs