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An Exploration Of Admissions Inequalities at CU Boulder

This project will address inequitable admissions processes in the University of Colorado (CU) system. We will focus on the low enrollment rates of low-income students in the system. Compared to public universities in other states, the CU system enrolls far fewer low-income students on average, which contributes to stagnation and generational poverty by severely limiting the educational and economic opportunities of Colorodans in impoverished communities. We will examine data  from the Colorado Department of Higher Education, such as percentages of enrolled students who are Pell Grant recipients and/or come from families with combined incomes below the poverty line, to determine the extent of this disparity. Via interviews with staff and students at CU - Boulder, the system’s flagship institution, we will identify the enrollment barriers low-income students face and the types of supports or interventions that make college more accessible. Through this data, we will evaluate the effects of these low enrollment rates on the educational and economic outcomes of low-income students, which in turn, will help us understand how these issues should be approached through policy solutions.