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UC's President Ono Participates in White House Summit on College Attainment

UC President Santa J. Ono joined President Barack Obama, the first lady and Vice President Joe Biden for a College Opportunity Day of Action on Dec. 4 to showcase new efforts to help more students attain a college education.

Date: 12/4/2014 6:00:00 AM
By: Marianne Kunnen-Jones
Phone: (513) 556-2019

UC ingot   University of Cincinnati President Santa J. Ono on Dec. 4 will join President Barack Obama, the First Lady Michelle Obama and Vice President Joseph Biden, along with hundreds of college presidents and other higher education leaders, to announce new actions to help more students prepare for and graduate from college.  Among those actions is a new UC program partnering with Hughes STEM High School in the Cincinnati Public School system.
The White House College Opportunity Day of Action is part of President Obama's commitment to partner with colleges and universities, business leaders, and nonprofits to support students across the country to help the United States reach its goal of leading the world in college attainment.  (Watch live stream and see the Day of Action website). 

UC's newest program to engage Cincinnati Public School students attending Hughes STEM High School is a summer bridge program. The UC program will provide year-round support, in addition to the summer program, to encourage Hughes students' interest in and readiness for STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) careers. (Read more about the UC-Hughes program).

“As a scientist, the future of our nation’s STEM pipeline is a primary concern for me,” said President Ono. “I am looking forward to showcasing our UC efforts to partner with our neighboring high school, where many students face financial and other challenges, to encourage students to see that college and a science or technology career are true possibilities for them.”
Participants in the White House College Opportunity Day of Action were asked to commit to new action in one of four areas: building networks of colleges around promoting completion, creating K-16 partnerships around college readiness, investing in high school counselors as part of the First Lady’s Reach Higher initiative, and increasing the number of college graduates in the fields of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics.
President Obama will announce new steps on how his Administration is helping to support these actions, including announcing $10 million to help promote college completion and a $30 million AmeriCorps program that will improve low-income students’ access to college.  Today’s event is the second College Opportunity Day of Action and will include a progress report on the commitments made at the first day of action on January 14, 2014.
According to White House officials, expanding opportunity for more students to enroll and succeed in college, especially low-income and underrepresented students, is vital to building a strong economy and a strong middle class.  Today, only 9 percent of those born in the lowest family income quartile attain a bachelor’s degree by age 25, compared to 54 percent in the top quartile.

In an effort to expand college access, the Obama Administration has increased Pell scholarships by $1,000 a year, created the new American Opportunity Tax Credit worth up to $10,000 over four years of college, limited student loan payments to 10 percent of income, and laid out an ambitious agenda to reduce college costs and promote innovation and competition.