As part of UMass Amherst’s ongoing efforts to expand educational access and diversify its student body, the campus has joined the American Talent Initiative (ATI), an effort to substantially increase the number of talented low- and moderate-income students at the nation’s top-performing undergraduate institutions with the highest graduation rates.
Formed last year with support from Bloomberg Philanthropies, ATI now numbers more than 50 public and private institutions. School leaders, including Chancellor Kumble Subbaswamy, will participate in an inaugural president roundtable on Feb. 22 in New York City. Former New York mayor Michael Bloomberg, the founder of Bloomberg Philanthropies, is scheduled to take part in the session.
By 2025 the members of the American Talent Initiative intend to attract, enroll and graduate 50,000 additional high-achieving, lower-income students at 270 colleges and universities with graduation rates of 70 percent or higher. According to the most recent federal data available, there are around 430,000 lower-income students enrolled at these 270 institutions. ATI intends to increase that number to 480,000 over the next decade.
Colleges and universities participating in ATI will further the national goal of developing more talent from every American neighborhood through:
More robust recruitment of students from diverse socio-economic backgrounds
Making need-based financial aid a priority
Implementing proven practices to enroll and keep lower-income students that are admitted
Minimizing or eliminating gaps in progression and graduation rates
During the meeting, the presidents will discuss a variety of topics, near- and long-term goals for ATI, the challenges related to increasing access and opportunity for lower-income students, researching issues of access and success and identifying solutions to address gaps in those areas for low-income students.
Participating institutions include:
California Institute of Technology
Claremont McKenna College
Franklin & Marshall College
Georgia Institute of Technology
Johns Hopkins University
Lebanon Valley College
New York University
Ohio State University
University of California, Berkeley
University of California, Los Angeles
University of Denver
University of Maryland, College Park
University of Massachusetts Amherst
University of Michigan – Ann Arbor
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
University of Pennsylvania
University of Richmond
University of Southern California
University of Texas at Austin
University of Washington
Washington University in St. Louis