Skip to main content

American Talent Initiative

The American Talent Initiative (ATI) seeks to expand access and opportunity for talented, low- and moderate-income students at the nation’s top colleges and universities. By 2025, ATI aims to graduate an additional 50,000 lower-income students at the 270 institutions with the highest graduation rates – those that consistently graduate at least 70% of their students in six years.

According to a report published in 2020, participating colleges have increased enrollment of students who receive Pell grants by 12,837 since 2017

ATI pushes for change by:

  • Uniting Institutions: ATI members are top-performing colleges and universities that have made a commitment, and are on track to achieve, their goal to collectively attract, enroll, and graduate an additional 50,000 lower-income students by 2025. ATI holds seminars and convenings, conducts research and shares best practices among member colleges and universities to move toward its goal.
  • Producing Research: ATI produces research on the impact institutional interventions to effect change in higher education policies and practices and to share successful strategies with school systems, counselors, other nonprofit organizations and education leaders across the country.

To date, over 135 top colleges and universities have joined the initiative, and together they have enrolled more than 18,000 additional lower-income students since 2016.

Between 2015-16, the year before ATI launched, and 2017-18, ATI-eligible institutions added 20,696 lower-income students, representing more than 40 percent of ATI’s goal.

The American Talent Initiative is funded by Bloomberg Philanthropies and coordinated by the Aspen Institute’s College Excellence Program and Ithaka S+R.

Learn more about the American Talent Initiative’s success, and join the American Talent Initiative here.

Top photo: Students on the campus of University of Dayton, a member of the American Talent Initiative program.