The Pell Institute publishes research and analyses that address equal educational opportunity, particularly the outcomes for low-income, first-generation, and disabled students. Additional publications include occasional papers, policy briefs, and an electronic newsletter.

Student Retention and Graduation — Facing the Truth, Living With the Consequences (.pdf)

Since the National Defense Education Act of 1958, a primary objective of federal higher education policy has been to increase access to higher education for those who would not otherwise attend, especially those from low-income backgrounds. Increasing attention is now being paid to enchancing student retention and graduation, making sure that students not only get in the door of higher education but also are successful in staying there through the completion of a degree.

This paper, authored by Pell Institute Senior Scholar Vincent Tinto, provides a broad survey of what is known about why students leave college before completing a degree, and closely examines who goes to college and who graduates from college. It also presents specific action steps that the federal government can take to assure that low-income students not only get into college, but stay through the completion of their degree. The information and recommendations contained in this paper are aimed at informing the discussions surrounding the reauthorization of the Higher Education Act.