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APUS Announces Commitment to Expand College Access at Second White House College Opportunity Day of Action

Charles Town, W. Va., Dec. 4, 2014American Public University System (APUS) President and CEO Dr. Wallace E. Boston will today join President Obama, the First Lady, and Vice President 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.

The White House College Opportunity Day of Action helps to support the President’s commitment to partner with colleges and universities, business leaders, and nonprofits to support students across the country to help our nation reach its goal of leading the world in college attainment. Watch the entire summit live at www.whitehouse.gov/live.

“APUS is strongly committed to expanding college opportunity for underserved populations in STEM programs,” said Dr. Boston.   “This commitment extends to women and minority students in all of our academic programs, and is fully demonstrated by our growing STEM offerings and related student services.”

APUS has established a Women in STEM Initiative to promote awareness and to attract women into STEM programs. For example, the university launched a student chapter of the Association for Women in Science’s (AWIS) Women in Stem Student Group (wSTEM). This group also promotes female participation within all STEM fields and provides networking opportunities and valuable professional information, resources, and support for women in STEM fields to develop and enhance their careers.

Today’s participants 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.

The President 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.

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.

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Brian Muys

Brian Muys

Associate VP Public Relations
571.358.3145