U-M receives $1M to increase transfers
The University aims to quadruple its enrollment of low- and moderate-income community college transfer students during the next four years with the assistance of a $1 million grant from the Jack Kent Cooke Foundation. U-M will invest an additional $3.79 million from its own resources for the initiative.
The foundation announced March 6 that U-M is one of eight top colleges and universities chosen for its program to increase opportunities for high-achieving, low-income community college students to earn bachelor's degrees from selective four-year institutions. Together, the universities and foundation will invest $27 million, an effort the organization says is the largest shared investment to date by leading colleges and universities to overcome the lack of opportunities for low-income students.
"As a public institution we place a high priority on making the University of Michigan accessible to students of limited means," President Mary Sue Coleman says. "We are delighted that this grant will enable us to provide new pathways into the University for high-achieving community college students. We are committed to overcoming barriers to admission, whether real or perceived, and ensuring that we enroll a socio-economically diverse student body,"
Through the investment, the foundation, three public universities, and five private colleges and universities will build programs to encourage transfer. The schools are:
Efforts being undertaken by U-M include:
• Establishing deeper relationships between the University and community colleges, including a road show by a team of admissions and financial aid staff who will visit the campuses of all 31 Michigan community and tribal colleges;
• Building relationships with financial aid and counseling staff members at community colleges to identify and mentor prospective low-income transfer students;
• Finding ways to communicate clearly to transfer students about U-M admissions requirements, financial aid opportunities and credit transfer policies;
• Conducting more personal outreach to students with advising to help them navigate the process from the academic and financial aid perspectives;
• Involving families in the transfer process by expanding existing campus days for admitted first-year students to include admitted transfer students;
• Enhancing dual-enrollment opportunities, such as an online course in engineering that will enable community college students to earn U-M credit, and increased articulation agreements in nursing.
In addition, a long weekend for incoming transfer students on the U-M campus will assist them with the transition. Stepped up mentoring, peer mentoring and study group initiatives for transfer students also will help them adjust to the critical first semester after transfer.
A Community College Research Fellows program will expand U-M's existing Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program to give community college students considering transfer an opportunity to do research with U-M faculty.
The Jack Kent Cooke Foundation is a private, independent organization established in 2000 to help young people of exceptional promise reach their full potential through education.