May 8, 2017 - Atlanta - Students enter the ceremony during the Processional. Emory University held it's 2017 Commencement Monday morning, the university's 172nd . The commencement was Emory President Claire E. Sterk's first as president. Former U.S. Poet Laureate Natasha Tretheway delivered the keynote address. Trethewey is the Robert W. Woodruff Professor of English and Creative Writing and director of the Creative Program at Emory. She served two terms as the 19th Poet Laureate of the United States (2012-2014). BOB ANDRES /BANDRES@AJC.COM
Photo: Bob Andres/
Photo: Bob Andres/

Emory University joins effort to graduate more low-income students

Emory University announced Wednesday it has joined a list of colleges and universities that has committed to enrolling and graduating more low- and moderate-income students. 

The American Talent Initiative aims to enroll and graduate at least 50,000 such students by 2025 from colleges and universities with six-year graduation rates exceeding 70 percent. One hundred schools have joined the initiative. Georgia Tech and Spelman College are the other two Georgia institutions that are part of the initiative.

One in five Emory undergraduate students receive Pell Grants, a federal program to help low-income student pay for college.

The effort has included tools such as recruiting more high-achieving students at community colleges and better recruiting of high school graduates; prioritizing needs-based aid and recruiting more Pell-eligible students and first-generation students.

Bloomberg Philanthropies, led by former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, is involved in the initiative.

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution recently spent weeks looking at the University of Georgia’s efforts to increase another group of students who have historically been underrepresented on its campus: African-Americans. Check out our report in this Sunday’s AJC or on

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