Four campuses where many low-income students are graduating

A college degree is one of the best tickets for climbing the economic ladder. Yet at many schools, low-income students graduate at a rate much lower than that of their wealthier peers. Here are a few colleges and universities where low-income students attend in large numbers and reach the finish line just as often as everybody else.

3. University of California, Irvine

A web of strategies has helped low-income students reach an 87 percent graduation rate at UC Irvine. And 69 percent of them earn more than $25,000 a year within six years of enrolling.

Within this large research university, students attend small colleges for different academic disciplines – so students are “more likely to get that personal attention you might get at a small liberal arts school,” says Michael Dennin, vice provost for teaching and learning.

In addition, first-generation college students can live in small learning communities where it’s easy to access support.

Students who come in to the academic support center for study help might also be engaged in other ways – for example, they might be encouraged to pair up with a faculty member to do research.

Peer mentors are available through many venues at UC Irvine. Recently, some scholarship recipients have been paired up with graduate-student mentors.

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