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University renews ATI commitment to serve lower income students

The University of Dayton renewed its commitment to expanding opportunity and access for lower income students as part of the American Talent Initiative, a national alliance of high-performing colleges and universities committed to addressing this important societal need.

As ATI nears five years since its launch, its member schools are recommitting to efforts to graduate collectively an additional 50,000 low- and moderate-income students by 2025. The goal is aligned with UD’s mission as a Catholic, Marianist university to support access for students no matter their socioeconomic status. When high-achieving, lower-income students attend top schools, they are more likely to graduate and their potential life earnings and long-term opportunities are greater as well, according to ATI.

"This is about attracting talented students to UD who add incalculable value to our classrooms, residence halls and campus life,” said UD President Eric F. Spina, who serves on the ATI steering committee. “Simply put, they are helping to make the University of Dayton better and stronger and enriching the educational experience for all students, faculty and staff."

Since joining ATI in 2017, UD has increased enrollment of students eligible for the federal Pell Grant through commitments and programs designed to foster their success. The Flyer Promise Scholars program, which graduated its first class this spring, removes financial barriers and offers support for underrepresented and underserved students. It has grown to include 168 students, many of whom never considered applying to UD before learning about the program. About 98% are on track to graduate in four years.

The UD Sinclair Academy, a partnership with Sinclair Community College, also removes financial barriers and offers undergraduates support and community on both campuses. The Academy has more than 70 academic pathways, offers transparent tuition and no fees at UD, provides academic support from both campuses, and allows students to join UD clubs and activities while taking classes at Sinclair.

UD also is expanding its high school, community and veterans groups partnerships to expand access for students from all backgrounds.

Building on its success, the University pledged to continue to focus on enrollment of lower-income students, with a goal to maintain 20% of the incoming first-year class as eligible for the federal Pell grant, and to increase enrollment of Pell-eligible undergraduates among the total student body to 19% (currently 14%) by 2025. The University also is committed to reducing the graduation rate gap for lower-income students and increasing philanthropic support for programs that serve them.


News and Communications Staff