U.S. Dept. of Ed recognizes UMBC as a leader in supporting low-income students

A new report released by the U.S. Department of Education recognizes UMBC as a leader in supporting college opportunity for low-income students.

The report “Fulfilling the Promise, Serving the Need: Advancing College Opportunity for Low-Income Students” was released at today’s Conference Focused on Improving College Outcomes for Pell Students in Washington, D.C. It notes:

For our nation’s colleges and universities to serve as gateways to social mobility and economic opportunity, they must succeed in helping all hard-working students — regardless of their income, race, or parents’ education — to enroll in college, graduate, and go on to rewarding careers. The good news is that many institutions are doing impressive and inspiring work by increasing college access for low-income students, providing them with the aid and support they need, and sending them into the work place with high quality degrees.

In coverage of the report, The Baltimore Sun writes:

UMBC has substantially increased the number of students receiving Pell Grants, and those students are completing their degrees.

UMBC is one of just 55 U.S. colleges and universities, including two in Maryland, highlighted as model institutions for enrolling Pell Grant recipients in large numbers, as well as for attention to graduation rates and post-graduation job placement/earnings for Pell Grant recipients.

The report recognizes UMBC among 13 higher education institutions that have substantially increased Pell enrollment over the last five years, while demonstrating successful college degree attainment. “Without question,” the U.S. Department of Education notes, “these schools provide significant pieces of the puzzle as we work to increase the numbers of low-income students with high-quality degrees over the coming years.”

“For students from low- and moderate-income families, a college degree is the surest path to the middle class in our country,” U.S. Secretary of Education John B. King Jr. said in a statement. “I applaud the colleges and universities that have taken measurable steps to open up this pathway and make it a successful one for students from all backgrounds. But we need these types of efforts to become the rule and not the exception.”

More coverage of this announcement is available at Inside Higher Ed, The Hechinger Report, and WGBH’s On Campus blog.

Image: New UMBC entrance, March 2016. Photo by Marlayna Demond ’11 for UMBC.