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ERIC Number: ED574359
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2017
Pages: 64
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 14
Degrees with Less Debt: Effective Higher Education Strategies for Underrepresented Student Populations. Policy Research. IERC 2017-2
Holt, Janet K.; White, Bradford R.; Terrell, Sarah K.
Illinois Education Research Council
In 2016, a higher education task force of St. Louis Graduates (STLG), a collaborative network whose mission is to increase degree completion for low income students, first-generation students, and students of color from St. Louis, commissioned this study from the Illinois Education Research Council (IERC). Through discussion, the following goals were established for this project: (1) identify those higher education institutions that are more successful in supporting and graduating underrepresented students from the St. Louis region: and (2) determine the strategies that institutions are using to graduate underrepresented students with less debt. This study was undertaken to determine successful college completion strategies for low-income students, first-generation students, and students of color. The ultimate goal is to identify promising practices for graduating underrepresented students with less debt and to share those strategies and practices with other institutions so they can be adopted and adapted. This would ultimately create a broad network of colleges and universities that are using evidence based strategies for affordable college completion for underrepresented students. Starting with a list of 20 four-year institutions in Missouri and Illinois where St. Louis students most often attend college, a Success metric was developed to determine which institutions were best supporting underrepresented students. From this study, a group of five institutions rose to the top. In the second phase of this project, administrators in the areas of academic and student affairs, enrollment management, and financial aid as well as a group of students, from each of these five institutions were interviewed to find the key ingredients of their "secret sauce" in supporting underrepresented students to graduation with less debt. [This study was funded from a grant from St. Louis Graduates through support from the Missouri Higher Education Loan Authority, MOHELA. For the executive summary, "Degrees with Less Debt: Effective Higher Education Strategies for Underrepresented Student Populations. Executive Summary. IERC 2017-2," see ED574361. For the research highlights, "Degrees with Less Debt: Effective Higher Education Strategies for Underrepresented Student Populations. Research Highlights. IERC 2017-2," see ED574360.]
Illinois Education Research Council. Southern Illinois University Edwardsville, Campus Box 1064, Edwardsville, IL 62026. Tel: 866-799-4372; Tel: 618-650-2840; Fax: 618-650-2425; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Numerical/Quantitative Data
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: Southern Illinois University, Illinois Education Research Council
Identifiers - Location: Missouri