Increasing College Access, Success, and Graduation

A college degree is the ticket to achieving social and economic mobility for individuals and their families — and for most Americans, having a college degree is the most reliable path to the middle class. The benefits are plentiful: College graduates have jobs that have higher earning potential and benefits like health insurance and retirement support, making them better able to support themselves and their families. College graduates are also more likely to be employed, to participate in civic activities such as voting and volunteering, and to have choices that contribute to good health.

The majority of jobs in the U.S. now requires some postsecondary education. As such, college-going rates are up for students across racial and economic groups. While this is good news, many students who arrive on a college campus leave without a valuable degree in hand. And regrettably, race, ethnicity, and family income continue to factor into a college student’s ability to earn a college degree.

These disparities in graduation rates are not due to college students themselves but, rather, the federal, state, and institutional policies and practices that hold college students back from earning a degree and achieving the American dream.

However, as the cost of college rises, more and more Americans are priced out of a college education, leaving some to question the value of a college education. But that notion threatens the United States’ ability to close wealth and income gaps and meet the demands of a competitive, global economy. As the U.S. becomes more multicultural and diverse, students of color and students from low-income backgrounds cannot be left behind when it comes to promoting upward mobility.

To disrupt these systems of inequity and to make colleges and universities work better for students of color and students from low-income backgrounds, Ed Trust works alongside policymakers, advocates, civil rights organizations, institutional leaders, and students to create meaningful change at the national, state, and local levels.

Here Are the Top Higher Education Issues Ed Trust Works On:

  • Increasing Resource Equity

    by Ed Trust

    In recent decades, states generally have disinvested from higher education. Every year, a disproportionate share of more than $290…

  • Holding Colleges Accountable for Advancing Education Equity

    by Ed Trust

    The cost of college continues to rise, making a college degree out of reach for millions of people —…

  • Improving College Graduation Rates

    by Ed Trust

    Getting to college is generally a cause for great celebration. But unfortunately, many college students start their college journey…

  • Making College Affordable

    by Ed Trust

    Most Americans agree that a college degree is a good investment in their future. However, there is an ongoing…

  • Expanding College Access

    by Ed Trust

    College should be available and accessible to everyone who seeks a postsecondary degree. However, the unfortunate truth is that…

  • Advocating for Underserved College Students

    by Ed Trust

    At their founding, universities were reserved exclusively for White men. Fortunately, that is no longer the case. However, centuries…