During the recent summit called by the White House for low-income college students, the University of Minnesota was represented at the meeting and made the following commitment to build upon current support to low-income students. You can check out commitments by other colleges by clicking on the following web link provided by the Chronicle of Higher Education. <Click on this web link>.
In summer 2014, the University of Minnesota will begin a new initiative, Retaining all Our Students (RaOS), that will focus on closing or eliminating the first-year retention gap between Pell-eligible students (86.9 percent), and non-Pell eligible students (91.3 percent). This three year $300,000 initiative is designed around four key components, including: (1) an enhanced financial literacy program with new materials focusing on the specific financial planning and information needs of low-income students and their families; (2) strong incentives for low-income students who are also in the President's Emerging Scholars (PES) program to participate in a PES summer bridge program; (3) the development of better success tracking tools for advisers to monitor academic progress and enhance the advising of Pell recipients students, including a targeted communications campaign; and (4) further leveraging the resources of the SMART Learning Commons tutoring centers by promoting the available services and connecting low-income students with peer tutors. Building on Existing Efforts: The University of Minnesota Promise Scholarship program, which began in 2007, now provides over $30 million annually in scholarships to more than 13,000 low- and middle-income Minnesota resident students who enroll on any of the University's five campuses. Eligible freshman and new transfer students with family incomes of up to $100,000 receive a guaranteed, multi-year scholarship. The PES program is designed for students who have faced challenges that may have impacted their high school metrics, but whose personal experiences and high school records indicate potential for collegiate success. The majority of the 500 PES students in this program are low income, students of color, and/or first-generation. PES provides nearly $1.5 million to support services that address the needs of PES students.