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Ursinus Joins American Talent Initiative

President Robyn Hannigan signed ATI’s Statement of Commitment, aligning Ursinus with a nationwide consortium focused on expanding higher education access for low- and moderate-income students.

Strengthening its commitment to increase college access, affordability, and success for all students, Ursinus College has joined the American Talent Initiative (ATI), an alliance of 135 higher education institutions with a shared goal of collectively enrolling and graduating an additional 50,000 low- and moderate-income students by 2025.

“I am proud to join the American Talent Initiative, an organization that aligns with one of the pillars of our strategic framework, which is to prepare every student for success through a transformational educational experience,” Ursinus President Robyn Hannigan said. “By signing ATI’s Statement of Commitment, Ursinus is further fostering an environment that values diversity, promotes inclusivity, and provides even more opportunities for underrepresented students to excel.”

To realize its vision, ATI mobilizes members around shared areas of focus, assembling top higher education institutions alongside philanthropy and research leaders to help accelerate progress toward its ambitious goal.

Membership in such an effort positions Ursinus amongst some of the highest-profile colleges and universities in the country—including eight other Centennial Conference Schools—and allows it to help those institutions successfully achieve and sustain their individual commitments.

Ursinus Vice President for Enrollment Management Michael J. Keaton said that ATI’s commitment to prioritizing need-based financial aid and expanding access, opportunity, and graduation rates for low-income students is in alignment with Ursinus’s values and philosophy of enrollment management.

“In joining ATI, we are aligning ourselves with access-driven institutions of higher education that collectively affect over 1.5 million students,” said Keaton, who also noted that Ursinus’s current first-year class includes 21.2 percent Pell Grant-eligible students. “Although Ursinus already meets or exceeds many of the aspirations and goals of ATI, membership in the group will help to ensure that we continue to hold ourselves accountable in the efforts to be a vehicle for the upward mobilization of promising and talented, economically disadvantaged students.”

According to ATI, while gaps in access to the nation’s leading colleges existed prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, these disparities have only widened for lower-income students and their families. ATI’s research shows that when high-achieving, lower-income students attend top-performing colleges such as those in the consortium, they graduate at higher rates.

As of 2021-22, ATI institutions have enrolled 7,713 more lower-income students since the start of the initiative in 2015-16.

For more information, visit americantalentinitative.org.

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