- The Jack Kent Cooke Foundation is offering a $1 million, no-strings-attached award for schools enrolling and graduating large numbers of low-income students.
- Vassar College, where nearly one in four students qualify for federal Pell grants, is the first-year recipient of the award, The New York Times reports.
- Vassar plans to use the money for orientation programs, scholarships for undocumented students, and grant programs for unfunded internships, according to the article.
Affirmative action advocacy has helped bring the question of racial diversity onto college campuses across the country. Many of the most elite schools have made real progress in growing their minority student populations. The Jack Kent Cooke Foundation’s award helps direct schools to economic diversity, where many have been less successful at diversifying. As more low-income students make it through degree programs at elite colleges and universities, the hope is to see greater social mobility across classes. Many argue mobility is stagnating precisely because low-income students are locked out of the educational opportunities they need to succeed.