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Title: Reclaiming the American Dream
Date: 2006
“What kinds of supports make the greatest difference in helping low-income youth prepare for and enroll in college? To find answers, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation engaged the Bridgespan Group to analyze data from the National Educational Longitudinal Study (NELS:88, 2000). [They discovered that] academic preparation is by far the most effective means of increasing the odds that students will graduate from high school and be successful in attaining a college degree. Academic preparation is necessary but not sufficient, however. Other elements are important and have varying degrees of impact. These factors include: a student’s expectation that a college degree will be essential to pursue his or her desired career; peer culture (particularly having a cohort of friends who plan to attend college); and supports that address the issue of college affordability.?

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