Bowdoin College has joined 68 of the nation’s top performing colleges and universities in an alliance to substantially expand the number of talented low- and moderate-income students at America’s undergraduate institutions with the highest graduation rates.

This growing alliance, called the American Talent Initiative (ATI) brings together a diverse set of public and private institutions united in a shared goal of educating 50,000 additional high-achieving, lower-income students across the country. Each ATI member institution will enhance its own efforts to recruit, enroll, and support lower-income students, learn from each other, and contribute to research that will help other colleges and universities effectively serve lower-income students.

“We welcome the opportunity to collaborate, develop, and share best practices with other schools that share Bowdoin’s goal of making education more accessible,” said Bowdoin College President Clayton Rose. “We’re optimistic that joining forces with the American Talent Initiative will only increase our opportunities to recruit and enroll students who may not otherwise find us and who will find academic success here at Bowdoin.”

Launched in December 2016, the American Talent Initiative is supported by Bloomberg Philanthropies and was founded with a national goal of educating 50,000 additional high-achieving, lower-income students at the 270 colleges and universities with the highest graduation rates by 2025. Based on the most recent federal data available, there are approximately 430,000 lower-income students enrolled at these 270 institutions.

ATI aims to increase and sustain the total number of lower-income students attending these top performing colleges to about 480,000 by 2025. To reach this ambitious goal, ATI will work to support its members’ work while adding more top-performing colleges to its membership in the coming months and years.

Bowdoin College recognizes that America’s top-performing colleges have an important role to play in this effort. Research shows that when high-achieving, lower-income students attend high-performing institutions such as Bowdoin they graduate at higher rates, and have a greater chance of attaining leadership positions and other opportunities throughout their lives. Yet in each graduating high school class, there are at least 12,500 lower-income young people with outstanding academic credentials who do not enroll at institutions where they have the greatest likelihood of graduating.

These students have earned the opportunity these institutions offer. The member institutions of American Talent Initiative seek to ensure that these “missing” students have a path to attend and thrive at the institutions with the highest-graduation rates and best track records for post-graduate success.

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