Degrees with Less Debt

Fri, 04/28/2017 - 15:34

Blog Admin

St. Louis Graduates commissioned a new report released by Illinois Education Research Council. Degrees With Less Debt: Effective Higher Education Strategies for Underrepresented Student Populations used a ranking methodology to identify institutions graduating more students than predicted and with less debt.  Institutions were restricted to those with at least 25% Pell recipients and at least 50% six-year graduation rates.

Five Missouri colleges stood out in the data and were recognized at Stand with Students: Leveraging Leadership to Support Postsecondary Success, an event St. Louis Graduates held with St. Louis Regional Chamber.

“One of the key findings of the report is the importance of university leadership committed to diversity, equity and inclusion,” notes principal investigator Janet K. Holt, Ph.D., Executive Director of the Illinois Education Research Council. “Presidents lead in creating a campus culture that values, supports and engages underrepresented students. Through interactions with their campus presidents and other campus leaders, students at the five institutions were forming a stronger bond to their universities.”

Institutional commitment to flexible and sufficient financial aid was identified as a primary concern of students and a critical factor in supporting students to graduation. Other key factors include just-in-time academic supports, early college experiences and a caring community of support.

Learn more about the report and the work of the five colleges in an article in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.

Degrees with Less Debt was commissioned by a task force of St. Louis Graduates co-chaired by Greg Laposa, Vice President-Education Strategies, St. Louis Regional Chamber, and Amy Murphy, Director of Scholarships and Donor Services at St. Louis Community Foundation, with support from MOHELA.