ScholarMatch, a San Francisco nonprofit organization that provides free college counseling to low-income youth, has named Colgate University to its 2016 College Honor Roll. The honor roll recognizes approximately 300 institutions that offer supportive environments for students whose families earn less than $50,000 per year.
According to ScholarMatch, 21 percent of high school seniors don’t have access to a school counselor. The organization’s honor roll is meant to help prevent low-income and first-generation students from ‘undermatching’ their choice of prospective colleges with those beneath their qualifications.
Working with the White House, ScholarMatch used public data to evaluate 1,400 schools in four main areas: financial aid, academic strength, student support services, and postgraduate success — with specific consideration given to low-income students’ needs. ScholarMatch’s analysis included metrics that are specifically relevant for students from households earning less than $50k, such as loan default rates and average debt load at graduation for this income bracket.
Colgate continues to make access and affordability a key priority, including meeting 100 percent of demonstrated need for all accepted students. The university has doubled spending on financial aid in the past 10 years, and the average debt load of Colgate graduates is considerably lower than the national average of more than $27,000; for example, the average debt load for the Class of 2016 was $16,000.