Characteristics of Success and Undermatching

Hi All

Here is an article that will give you some ideas.  The focus is on an urban setting but I suspect that some of the findings apply to those of us who work with rural first-generation students.  Skim through the first of the article to the list of student success characteristics.  The last characteristic is mutable and within our span of control, announcing college acceptances.  I am thinking that we could also announce who is going on college campus visits, receiving college scholarships, etc.

Later in the article he discusses the transition to a college setting.  I have taught at a large state university and several small liberal arts colleges.  It is important to understand the mission of a college because it will directly impact a student.  At a large research university professors are expected to write grants and bring in money, publish, and work with graduate students.  They may only teach one or two classes and if one is undergraduate it will probably be a large class of 100-500.  The chances of an undergraduate getting to know a professor is low unless they are outstanding and make a huge effort.  At a small liberal arts college or state university the mission may be rigorous undergraduate studies and the faculty know and interact with students.  From an ASPIRE perspective we need to need to know the size of undergraduate classes and if they are taught by tenure track faculty or graduate students and adjuncts.  On a campus visit high school students should ask college students if they know their faculty, how do they interact with them and who are their favorite faculty.

The issue of undermatching is an important issue for ASPIRE Advisors.  What colleges are we discussing with students?  We often work with first-generation students who on the FAFSA have an EFC of 0 so they qualify for a great deal of need-based aid.  If the student has great grades, SAT’s, leadership, and community service they may be a candidate for an elite school.  An elite college with a substantial endowment is often able to meet 100% of the financial need of a desirable student.  As you work with students you may wish to go on Oregon CIS and look at the percentage of financial need met by the college.  Since we are having the fall ASPIRE conference at Reed College you might like to know that the COA is $59,880 and they meet 100% of financial need.  The COA at the U of O is $23,965 so which college graduates, U of O or Reed, would have the least debt?

New study explores qualities that help black and Latino males succeed in high school | Inside Higher Ed

What are your thoughts???

Cheers,  George

George A. Letchworth, Ph.D.


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