AUSTIN, TEXAS–Today, College Forward CEO Lisa Fielder joins President Obama, the First Lady, and Vice President Biden along with hundreds of college presidents and other higher education leaders to announce new actions to help more students prepare for and graduate from college.
The White House College Opportunity Day of Action helps to support the President’s commitment to partner with colleges and universities, business leaders, and nonprofits to support students across the country to help our nation reach its goal of leading the world in college attainment.
College Forward has committed to build and share innovative program models that deliver targeted support the critical challenges students face on the path to postsecondary preparation, acceptance, and completion. College Forward is a recognized leader for producing outstanding student outcomes, including a college acceptance rate twice that of similarly disadvantaged Texas students and a college completion rate six times the state average. The organization also has significant experience convening collective impact collaboratives and delivering highly popular student services at high schools and colleges.
“College Forward is thrilled to be a part of this important national conversation and to demonstrate our commitment at the White House. We’re excited to bring our considerable expertise in both college access and college completion to this summit,” says Mrs. Fielder.
Today’s participants were asked to commit to new action in one of four areas: building networks of colleges around promoting completion, creating K16 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 President will announce new steps on how his Administration is helping to support these actions, including announcing $10 million to help promote college completion and a $30 million AmeriCorps program that will improve low-income students’ access to college. Today’s event is the second College Opportunity Day of Action, and will include a progress report on the commitments made at the first day of action on January 14, 2014.
Expanding opportunity for more students to enroll and succeed in college, especially low-income and underrepresented students, is vital to building a strong economy and a strong middle class. Today, only 9 percent of those born in the lowest family income quartile attain a bachelor’s degree by age 25, compared to 54 percent in the top quartile. In an effort to expand college access, the Obama Administration has increased Pell scholarships by $1,000 a year, created the new American Opportunity Tax Credit worth up to $10,000 over four years of college, limited student loan payments to 10 percent of income, and laid out an ambitious agenda to reduce college costs and promote innovation and competition.