Indianapolis’ new idea to get kids through college: Stop small stumbles from becoming big barriers
By Stephanie Wang ~ Chalkbeat ~
To reach the city of Indianapolis’ lofty goal of giving every resident access to college, it’s going to take more than money.
It’s going to take a lot of nudging.
Educators know that many students are capable of college coursework and could qualify for financial aid — but too many of them are failing at the logistics of getting into college and sticking with it until they graduate.
That’s why the city’s new education initiative, a key state scholarship program, and private organizations are all looking to improve those nudges — using a human touch to prepare students for college, encourage them to apply, and push them to graduate. The programs use a variety of approaches, such as text messages from business leaders to high schoolers or “college champions” who cheer students on to graduation.
“Whether you’re a first-generation college student, or you’re someone with a lot of college graduates in your family, the process is complicated,” said Matt Impink, executive director of Indy Achieves. “There’s a lot to know, and a lot of deadlines to hit. We want to give them simple guidance about how to get those things done.”