By Goldie Blumenstyk
March 25, 2013, The Chronicle of Higher Education
Alarmed that the college-completion agenda and other national policy and financing debates overlook the special challenges of needy students and the institutions they attend, a coalition of colleges called Yes We Must is revving up to ensure that its concerns are not ignored.
The three-year-old Yes We Must, which has 32 members, is a coalition for private colleges no larger than 5,000 students where at least 50 percent of the undergraduates qualify for Pell Grants. Many of the current members also have small endowments and operate on tight budgets.
by M Lapham
November 19, 2012, DetroitUnspun - The Detroit Regional News Hub
Imagine you are a student attending college with a Pell Grant and then legislation is passed in Washington changing the rules. You can no longer afford school. It looks like the rug was pulled out from under you and all your work … and your ability to graduate on time … may be for naught. This is not a very comforting reality for many students.
Thoughts from the Yes We Must Coalition about the Reimagining project sponsored by the Gates Foundation.
By Allie Grasgreen
September 12, 2012, Inside Higher Ed
Two years ago, Michael J. Sorrell was giving a speech to the student body when he noticed one of his favorite students in the front row. Despite sitting only 25 feet or so from Sorrell, the student was squinting to see him. Sorrell, president of the historically black Paul Quinn College in Dallas, stopped the speech and asked how many students would go to the eye doctor if he made the arrangements. It turned into more than just a poll. Between 10 and 15 percent of students needed glasses and lacked the means to get them or have their eyes examined. Not anymore.
The Yes We Must Coalition is grateful to the Kresge Foundation for a grant of $150,000 to implement "Planning for Sustainability" from October 1, 2012, through December 31, 2013.
by Dr. Vinton Thompson, President, Metropolitan College of NY
February 2012, New York Nonprofit Press
In December, shortly before Christmas, with little notice and no debate or public comment, Congress eliminated an important route to higher education for non-traditional students. Presently, students without a high school diploma or a GED can demonstrate college-ready proficiency by passing one of a handful of federally designated tests at a prescribed level. If they succeed, they are eligible for federal aid programs like Pell Grants and student loans. This route to college was established for students who demonstrate “ability to benefit from education or training”, generally shortened to ATB (ability to benefit). It applies to American students without high school credentials and to some immigrants with high school credentials from abroad, permitting them to enter college directly, without diversion of time and effort. Come July 1, 2012, entrance to college through ATB will end. I am writing here to put this setback to college access in context and urge those who can to take advantage of this opportunity before it vanishes.