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Eleven public universities have formed an alliance to boost college success rates among low-income students.

The founding members of the University Innovation Alliance (UIA) have raised and will match $5.7 million to test and disseminate proven innovations and interventions to help in the retention and graduation of low-income and first-generation students.

“Colleges typically are forced to compete for students, research support and top spots on college rankings. While there are many institutions that have come up with creative solutions to some of our sector’s most urgent problems, those ideas rarely travel far from where they are hatched,” said Michael Crow, president of Arizona State University and chairman of the UIA.

“This alliance will create a space where university leaders can come together and learn from one another, and all of us will benefit as we share, adapt and scale up ideas that have been proven to help students from all backgrounds,” added UIA member and University of Kansas Chancellor Bernadette Gray-Little.

According to the White House, which launched an initiative to help boost education attainment among low-income students in January, while half of all people from high-income families have a bachelor’s degree by age 25, just 1 in 10 people from low-income families do.

The disparity has a negative impact on low-income families since the share of jobs that require postsecondary education has doubled over the last 40 years. And, it also impacts the future health of the national economy. According to the UIA press release, the American economy will face a shortage of at least 16 million college graduates by 2025.

“There is no question now that educational attainment is key to social mobility in an increasingly knowledge-based economy,” UIA member and Michigan State University President Lou Anna Simon said. “We have the will, the tools and the critical mass to finally begin to breach a persistent barrier to delivering the promise of opportunity to all our students, no matter their family or geographic circumstances.”

The member institutions of the UIA have all pioneered programs to aid low-income and first-generation students succeed in various aspects of their college education. For example, Georgia State University used predictive analytics and proactive counseling to increase its semester-to-semester retention rates by 5 percent and reduce time-to-degree for graduating students by almost half a semester.

That is the kind of transformation the UIA is after,” said Mark Becker, Georgia State University president and UIA vice chairman.

The 11 Innovation Alliance members are: Arizona State University, The Ohio State University, Georgia State University, Iowa State University, University of Central Florida, Michigan State University, University of Kansas, Oregon State University, The University of Texas at Austin, Purdue University and University of California, Riverside.