Hobart and William Smith Colleges - HWS Joins the American Talent Initiative
The HWS Update
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HWS Joins the American Talent Initiative

Hobart and William Smith Colleges have been accepted into the American Talent Initiative (ATI), an alliance of more than 125 four-year institutions with high graduation rates that are united in enrolling, supporting and graduating talented students from lower-income households.

Each college and university participating in ATI identifies its own strategies to contribute to the collective goal of graduating 50,000 students from low- and middle-income households by 2025. Over the coming months, HWS will develop action plans to recruit more students from economically diverse backgrounds, ensure that students from lower-income households enroll and engage in campus life, prioritize need-based financial aid, and minimize gaps in progression and graduation rates between students of differing socioeconomic backgrounds.

“Joining ATI with the other member institutions is a significant step in Hobart and William Smith’s ongoing efforts to foster a diverse learning environment where talented students, regardless of financial barriers, can thrive,” says HWS President Joyce P. Jacobsen. Noting the Colleges’ participation in Posse, the First Generation Initiative and the 50th anniversary of HEOP membership, Jacobsen says that HWS is committed to supporting students from before they arrive on campus to graduation and beyond.

ATI works with institutions across the country that graduate at least 70 percent of their students in six years — a threshold reached only by approximately 320 colleges. ATI is working to increase the total number of students from low- and moderate-income households enrolled at these institutions from about 500,000 to 550,000 by 2025.

The Colleges’ membership in ATI will bolster existing efforts to support students from lower-income households, as they work with other member institutions toward a common national goal. Members convene regularly to share best practices and contribute to research that will help other colleges and universities effectively serve students.

ATI is co-managed by the Aspen Institute College Excellence Program and Ithaka S+R, and funded by Bloomberg Philanthropies.

The Aspen Institute’s College Excellence Program advances higher education practices, policies and leadership that significantly improve student outcomes. The program is part of The Aspen Institute, which has a mission of fostering leadership based on enduring values and providing a nonpartisan venue for dealing with critical issues.

Ithaka S+R is a not-for-profit service that provides research and strategic guidance to help the academic and cultural communities serve the public good and navigate economic, technological and demographic change.

Bloomberg Philanthropies works in 480 cities in more than 120 countries to ensure better, longer lives for the greatest number of people. The organization focuses on five key areas for creating lasting change: the arts, education, the environment, government innovation and public health.

Preparing Students to Lead Lives of Consequence.