Strive for College provides numerous resources to support students from underserved populations, including first-generation students and students from low-income families.
"By partnering with Strive for College, Texas Tech affirms our commitment to providing access and opportunity to underserved students," said Jason Hale, executive director of Undergraduate Admissions. "This partnership will aid us in providing resources and communicating this commitment to students and educators across the country. As a state institution, we are dedicated to this mission, and I am excited for the many opportunities this partnership provides us to showcase our campus resources and programs for low-income and first-generation college students."
In 2019, the Pew Research Center reported that low-income students make up 20% of all U.S. college students. According to the Center for First-Generation Student Success, an estimated 56% of college students in the U.S. are first-generation students, but less than half of these students earn a bachelor's degree six years after starting their postsecondary education. At Texas Tech, first-generation students made up 26% of enrolled undergraduate students during fall 2020.
"The alarming dropout rate among first-generation college students illustrates the importance of programs that promote better college opportunities for these students," says Strive for College founder and CEO Michael J. Carter. "Alongside schools like Texas Tech University, we aim to change this trend."
Texas Tech has demonstrated a commitment to enrolling and graduating low-income and first-generation college students, and as a Strive for College Partner, will use the Strive programs to promote and strengthen campus programs and support services for these students. The university is now featured in Strive's "I'm First! Guide to College," the only comprehensive college guidebook for first-generation, college-bound students, and on the I'm First! website, which features student videos, stories, blogs and advice from and for first-generation college students.
"Expanding Texas Tech's reach through this partnership allows for more first-generation students to see Texas Tech as a possibility and for prospective students and their families see how we lead first-generation success efforts across the institution," said Jade Silva Tovar, senior director in the Division of Diversity, Equity & Inclusion. "This partnership is one of many ways we continue to intentionally enroll and serve the specific needs of our diverse student community."
Strive's programs provide numerous resources to educators and students alike. For College Partners, there is a learning community where colleagues can share best practices and model successful programs for recruiting and retaining first-generation college students. For students, an online mentoring program connects aspiring college students with dedicated mentors to receive one-on-one guidance and support through the college admissions and financial aid application process.
The organization's custom-built technology platform has communications features, like video chat, and data-powered college matching tools to help students discover and connect with institutions like Texas Tech. The university also is helping mobilize mentors from its campus community and alumni network to assist students.
For more information about the organization and its resources and programs, visit the Strive for College website.