At the UIA, we’re committed to eliminating gaps in college attainment by race and income. While equity in higher education is the focus of our work, the COVID-19 crisis has broken longstanding systemic inequities wide open for all to see. Coverage in the New York Times and the Atlantic highlights how the pandemic disproportionately affects the most vulnerable students on college campuses.
Over the last few years, we’ve seen a movement in higher education to do a better job supporting student success and graduating students across the socioeconomic spectrum - particularly low-income students, first-generation students, and students of color. Here at the UIA we’ve been leading that effort, but change is difficult, especially at large institutions. So, along the way, we’ve picked up an array of insights about what makes change possible in the higher ed environment.
Caitlin is a senior business major who hopes to work in the tech industry. She works full-time to offset tuition and living expenses. She’s afraid she can’t balance her immediate financial needs with pursuing a job change after college.
Sam is a Biology major preparing for dental school, but he really loves music. The four-year degree he’s pursuing is primarily to please and provide for his mother. A Caribbean student from a lower-income family, Sam is afraid he’ll regret not pursuing his passion.