The University of Dayton has joined a national initiative to expand access of college to more middle and low income students.

UD wants to boost number of low, middle-income students on campus

The University of Dayton has joined 68 of the nation’s colleges in an alliance to expand the number of talented low and middle-income undergraduate students at the nation’s institutions with the highest graduation rates.

The American Talent Initiative brings together public and private institutions united in the shared goal of educating 50,000 additional high-achieving, lower-income students by 2025.

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Each member college will enhance its own efforts to recruit, enroll and support lower-income students, learn from each other, and contribute to research that will help other schools better serve lower-income students, according to UD.

“We are proud to make a deeper commitment to ensuring a University of Dayton education is within reach for middle- and low-income students,” UD president Eric Spina said in a prepared statement. “Improving affordability and accessibility is at the heart of our strategic vision and has been the focus of some of our most important initiatives, including our transparent tuition pricing and the new UD Sinclair Academy.”

Research shows that when high-achieving, lower-income students attend institutions with higher graduation rates, they they are more likely to graduate, according to UD.

UD’s announcement comes just days after a Dayton Daily News investigation found that the socioeconomic diversity of the school’s student body is lower than any other area university.

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UD students’ families have a median income of $149,600, the highest of any Dayton-area university, according to data from the Equality of Opportunity Project’s study on social mobility.

Of area schools, UD also has the lowest share of its student body receiving federal need-based aid, though officials say that number is expected to increase significantly this year.

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