In a recent Washington Monthly article, Indiana Wesleyan University was ranked third in the nation for institutions that have increased enrollment of low-income students over a period of five years (2008-2013). To measure this, Washington Monthly analyzed each university’s predicted Pell enrollment rate. This is the percentage of students enrolled at a college who receive a federal Pell Grant compared to the percentage who would be statistically expected to enroll. IWU exceeded its predicted Pell enrollment rate by 17.1 percent.
Of the ten universities with increased Pell enrollment rates, IWU ranked alongside institutions such as University of California, Florida State University, and Grand Valley State University.
“We strive to make our unique Christ-centered educational opportunity a possibility for all who want to attend,” said Thomas Ratliff, associate vice president for financial aid. “By contributing significant institutional funding to help needy students afford to attend IWU, we are able to add to our campus diversity, build a well-rounded student body and be a private school of choice for many who couldn’t afford to attend elsewhere.”
Not only is IWU recruiting and enrolling low-income students, but it is also nurturing success for these students through multiple initiatives. TRiO–a program intended to support low-income students, first generation students and students with disabilities–recently received $1.4 million in funding to continue providing students with helpful tools such as individual advisors, tutors, academic accountability and financial literacy training.
Additional initiatives include IWU Near You–a program designed to prepare local, low-income high school students for college–and the STEM cohort program–a scholarship program for academically talented, underrepresented and financially needy students who are pursing degrees in Biology, Chemistry and Physics.
“We are convinced that in order to increase access to higher education for low-income students we have to be both innovative and courageous with our strategies,” said David Humphrey, director of multicultural access & outreach. “The fact that we are listed in this article is both a testament and a sign of things to come for IWU as we endeavor to create a diverse community.”