The Yes We Must Coalition strives to increase degree attainment of students from low-income backgrounds by promoting the work of independent, not-for-profit colleges and universities where undergraduate enrollment of Pell-eligible students is 50% or more.

What exactly do we do here? Take a look at our resources for helping low-income students achieve success in college, and some of the collaborative work going on among members. Our latest report, “Listening to Our Low-Income Students,” presents students’ own observations on their struggles and success in college.



  • Contribute to the attainment of the 2020 national goal to increase the number of students achieving college degrees.
  • Be a national voice to advocate for students from low-income backgrounds and the role of institutions and organizations that effectively serve them.
  • Work to improve graduation rates for low-income students.

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The Yes We Must Coalition brings together private colleges and universities and affiliated organizations and individuals who are committed to access to higher education and success through to graduation for low income/first generation students.

If you are a supporter of greater equity in higher education, of improving college graduation rates for underrepresented students, and of collaborative processes that reduce college costs and increase student success, please join us.

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Income inequality among Americans has widened dramatically over the past three decades, and the correlation between the income level of one’s family and the level of education achieved flies in the face of the American dream.

It is time for colleges to look beyond their individual campuses and act boldly to clarify and create new measurements, practices, systems, and structures to better serve the needs of our country and our global community. It is time for new thinking, and it is time for new voices to be heard.

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Why we joined the Yes We Must Coalition