UC San Diego News Center


Chancellor Joins White House Summit to Increase College Access for Low-Income Students

Increasing college access and success for low-income and disadvantaged students is of key importance to UC San Diego’s Chancellor Pradeep K. Khosla. Photo by Erik Jepsen/UC San Diego Publications

University of California, San Diego Chancellor Pradeep K. Khosla will join other national higher education leaders Jan. 16 at a daylong White House summit dedicated to launching a plan of action for increasing college access and success for low-income and disadvantaged students. The event, part of President Obama’s college pipeline initiative of making substantial new efforts towards recruiting and graduating low-income students, will be streamed live and available on the White House website.

The day, which is being jointly coordinated by the National Economic Council, the Domestic Policy Council and the Department of Education, will include remarks, panels and breakout discussions to help mobilize efforts to connect more low-income students with college opportunities, and ensure success once they get there. Participants will also include leaders from the private sector, city and states, and philanthropy. They will share their commitments to this initiative, including the continuation of existing programs that have been successful, and planned programs that will be launched.

“Education leads to upward social mobility and economic growth, and that is why access and affordability must be priorities for our country and our nation’s higher education institutions,” said UC San Diego Chancellor Pradeep K. Khosla. “I’m proud of our efforts at UC San Diego to help, motivate and inspire lower-income students to attain a higher education.”

Chancellor Khosla will bring to the summit UC San Diego commitments that include expanding efforts in access programs aimed at regional high schools and community colleges. Drawing on faculty, students and community educational partners, our campus will provide both outreach services and teacher professional development to improve pathways for underrepresented students to succeed in K-14 STEM (science, technology, engineering, math)-based courses.

UC San Diego will also strengthen and expand the Chancellor’s Associates Scholarship Initiative, guaranteeing cost-free access to education to 100 low-income students from the San Diego region each year. A pilot of the Chancellor’s Associates Scholarship Initiative program this year tripled the number of enrolled students from three partner high schools with a high proportion of low-income students by guaranteeing financial aid packages comprised entirely of grants and scholarships.

In addition, to enable low-income community college students to attend UC San Diego, we will establish a new transfer guarantee program called UniversityLink. In the next three years, the campus will also make significant investments in programs and personnel for two retention and placement programs to ensure that all low-income students are guaranteed a meaningful service learning opportunity and access to alumni mentors and employers. Service learning and community-based learning are high-impact educational practices that significantly improve retention and shorten time to degree. Alumni are a rich trove of academic and professional mentors, internships, and employment opportunities, and they are especially valuable to first-generation students.