RISE UP/GEAR UP

Bloomberg-backed group to help poorer students graduate from college

When he was trying to get into his top choice university, Alejandro Hidalgo of Garland, Texas looked ahead with excitement. But when the time came to figure out how to pay for it, that nearly brought him to tears.

“I had worked so hard in high school, and I told myself to apply to the best school in the state, the University of Texas at Austin, and see what happened,” he recalled. “When I was accepted, it was exciting at first, then figuring out the financial aid package was so disheartening.”

Hidalgo remembers receiving his original financial aid package and “almost crying” because his dream college suddenly seemed unattainable.

Now a national effort is seeking to help high achieving, lower-income students like Hidalgo enroll and succeed at selective colleges. Supported by Bloomberg Philanthropies, the American Talent Initiative is a coalition of 30 Ivy League, state flagship, private universities, and liberal arts colleges. An additional 26 member institutions will be officially announced in April.

Read full article at NBC News