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More Student Data Could Help Bridge Grad Gap

According to a recent article in the Washington Post, more relevant data concerning Pell Grants could help more students from low-income backgrounds graduate from college.

In September 2015, the Education Trust released The Pell Partnership, a project that collected, shared and analyzed graduation rates for Pell Grant recipients – low-income and working-class families who receive federal need-based aid. That report also issued a call for the federal government to collect and report institutions’ completion rates for Pell Grant recipients with the hope that more transparency would compel institutions to be better stewards of the government’s $27 billion-a-year investment in Pell Grants.

Late in 2017, the federal government began collecting these data from colleges and making completion rates for Pell Grant recipients available to prospective and current students, parents, policymakers and institutional leaders.

If institutions are going to improve outcomes for Pell Grant recipients, it is essential to have annual data on campus-level racial gaps and trends for Pell Grant recipients. And having access to these data will be instrumental in helping federal policymakers who need better information on how well institutions are supporting students.

Creating a secure federal student-level data network would provide the completion data by income and race and ethnicity that stakeholders need. Although better data alone won’t improve graduation rates for black, Latino and Native students, data are valuable indicators that enable us to better identify what is working and what needs improvement.

Full article: https://wapo.st/2KKnrcQ