Success & College Access for Underrepresented Students


October 6, 2017 – Here’s our weekly roundup of education news you may have missed. K-12 leaders examine strategies to help diverse groups of learners succeed. In higher ed coverage, identifying and assisting students from low-income backgrounds is discussed.

We are currently accepting applications for our Undergraduate Transfer Scholarship, a program for community college students, and our College Scholarship Program for high school seniors. Both scholarships provide up to $40,000 per year, along with opportunities for internships, study abroad, and graduate school funding.

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.


Elementary & Secondary Education:

  • Education Week shares the story of 13-year-old Emma Yang, whose creativity, coding skills, and drive to make an impact have led her to build an app for Alzheimer’s patients. The article quotes Arizona State University professor James Paul Gee, who observes that Emma is “getting a beautiful education. The real question is whether we’re willing to give that to every kid.”
  • Students may be more successful in school when their teachers look like them and the curriculum reflects their experiences, say respective articles from NPR and Education Dive.
  • Corey Alderdice, director of the Arkansas School for Mathematics, Sciences and the Arts, advises high school juniors and seniors on how taking the PSAT and ACT can help them prepare for college in Arkansas Money and Politics. Additional tips and resources from organizations like Reach Higher and the National College Access Network are included in The Washington Post.


Higher Education:

  • When measuring the number of low-income students at colleges and universities, New America finds that data from Raj Chetty and team’s research show a more detailed measure than Pell Grant percentages. The article additionally notes that, “students from families in the lowest income quintile comprise just 4.5 percent of the student population at highly selective publics and only 8.1 percent at selective ones.”
  • October 1 marked the opening of Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). Inside Higher Ed notes that last year, application filings increased in every state. However, “students from the lowest-income school districts – those most in need of federal aid – continue to lag peers in wealthier districts in completing the FAFSA.”
  • “I’m relying a lot on Congress to make something positive come out of this,” says Yennifer Reyes, one of four undocumented students who spoke with The 74 about attending a selective institution as a recipient of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA).


Cooke Foundation:

  • Central Minnesota’s WJON highlights Cooke Young Scholar Natalie Gerads, who is coordinating a project to build an adaptive playground in her community.
  • Natalie Rodriguez Jansorn, director of scholarship programs at the Cooke Foundation, is mentioned in a commentary for The Philadelphia Inquirer that details her family’s efforts to ensure aid reaches hurricane victims throughout the island of Puerto Rico.


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