Enrolling and Supporting Underrepresented Students


October 27, 2017 – Here’s our weekly roundup of education news you may have missed. High-achieving students with financial need are being “pushed” out of elite colleges and universities. In K-12 news, ideas and programs promote equity in gifted education and STEM.

High-achieving high school seniors should apply now to ouCollege Scholarship Program, which provides up to $40,000 per year, along with opportunities for internships, study abroad, and graduate school funding. Deadline: November 14, 2017.

Youth-serving nonprofits in the Washington, DC metropolitan area (including parts of Northern Virginia and Maryland) may apply now to our Good Neighbor Grants program. Deadline: November 1, 2017.


Elementary & Secondary Education:

  • Following increased funding for gifted education programs, The Seattle Times editorial board encourages school districts in Washington state to improve outreach and enrollment among students from low-income families and other underrepresented groups.
  • Dan Zaharopol, founder of Bridge to Enter Advanced Mathematics (BEAM), discusses how the program recruits talented middle school students from low-income families and prepares them for STEM majors. The article from Johns Hopkins University’s The Hub also mentions the Cooke Foundation’s $1 million grant supporting BEAM’s expansion to Los Angeles.


Higher Education:

  • “More than half of the country’s top public universities replaced low-income students with affluent ones over the past 14 years,” says The Hechinger Report. The article notes that similar shifts at public research institutions and regional universities cause concerns among advocates for social mobility.
  • In Inside Higher Ed, Matt Reed writes that Tuesday’s #RealCollege conference was a “systemic, critical, and unapologetically political interpretation of how hunger comes to happen in the first place” on college campuses.
  • “While the psychology of social class doesn’t have solely negative implications for first-generation and low-income students … these beliefs and perceptions can hinder their academic success,” states The Brookings Institution.
  • CNN summarizes the findings of the College Board’s annual report on trends in college pricing: “The price of a college education rose faster than inflation, again.”


Cooke Foundation Highlights:

  • Executive Director Harold O. Levy is quoted in The Washington Post explaining how “often-unintentional signals” from elite colleges and universities deter students with financial need from applying. A second article, also written by Nick Anderson, includes a sortable chart of top institutions and the percentage of Pell students they serve.
  • Cooke Scholar Viviana Andazola Marquez authors a somber commentary for The New York Times titled “I Accidentally Turned My Dad In to Immigration Services.”
  • The Virginian-Pilot highlights new Cooke Young Scholar Adia Colvin. Cooke Scholars Leonardo Dulanto Falcon, Adrien Vicente La Lande, and Shawn Zamani share scholarship application tips in The Hawkeye.


Social Media Spotlight: