TU joins initiative aimed at increasing enrollment of low-income students

By: Caitlyn Freeman, Editor in Chief

Towson University is now a member of the American Talent Initiative, an alliance that aims to increase the enrollment of low-income students nationwide, the university announced Monday.

Towson joins a collective of 137 colleges and universities with a shared goal of enrolling and graduating an additional 50,000 low-income students by 2025. In addition to Towson, the University of Maryland, College Park, a fellow University System of Maryland institution, is a part of the Initiative.

Interim President Melanie Perreault said joining the Initiative aligns with the university’s mission to be an anchor institution for the state.

“Joining ATI and these outstanding peer institutions will strengthen our ability to ensure student success, equity and diversity on our campus–three major priorities here at TU,” she said in a press release.

The Initiative began in 2016 and is supported by Bloomberg Philanthropies-supported as well as the Aspen Institute’s College Excellence Program.

“ATI’s goal is to increase the total number of lower-income students attending these top-performing colleges from ~550,000 to ~600,000 by 2025 and beyond 2025, to sustain that increase,” the Initiative’s website reads.

The Initiative works with universities within the U.S. that graduate at least 70% of their students within six years, the university said. Only 341 universities achieve this.

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Since its origin, ATI institutions have enrolled 7,713 additional lower-income students, its 2022 annual report states.

To aid ATI’s goals, Towson will create benchmarks and strategies to recruit economically diverse backgrounds and close gaps, the presser said.

Boyd Bradshaw, Towson’s Vice President of Enrollment, said the partnership comes on the heels of the university’s inaugural strategic enrollment plan.

“This partnership with ATI will undoubtedly build upon TU’s competitive advantage while helping to identify opportunities amid a rapidly changing higher education marketplace,” he said in the presser.

Another goal of the university is to achieve R-2 Carnegie research status. Achieving the status would mean Towson graduates at least 20 doctoral students and spends at least $5 million annually on research.

Bradshaw said the partnership would help aid the university in providing equitable opportunities overall and relating to the push for R-2.

“This partnership with ATI will only expand opportunities for students to benefit from TU’s inclusive community and outstanding faculty who are leading those efforts,” he said in a statement Monday afternoon.


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