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The Jack Kent Cooke Foundation awarded its inaugural prize ($1 million) to Vassar College — where one in every four students has a family income “low enough to qualify for federal Pell grants.” As reported in The Huffington Post:
“Low-income students can have an incredibly difficult time getting into college, even if they are top-achieving students with exceptional grades. The result is an enormous diversity problem on college campuses. That’s what the Jack Kent Cooke Foundation is trying to change, with a $1 million prize that will be given each year to a college that has made an extraordinary effort to accept, enroll and graduate low-income students. This year’s inaugural prize went to Vassar College — where one in every four students has a family income “low enough to qualify for federal Pell grants,” according to The New York Times’ David Leonhardt.
“Among colleges with a four-year graduation rate of at least 75 percent, none has done more than Vassar to enroll low-income students and give them large scholarships, according to an Upshot analysis last year that Cooke Foundation officials said influenced their decision,” he wrote.
The prize is just one sign of positive change occurring in higher education to improve economic diversity. Leonhardt wrote that several other schools are now making significant efforts to improve diversity, including Pomona, Amherst and Harvard.”