Centre College was recently recognized on the ScholarMatcher’s 2018 College Honor Roll, which analyzes college data to determine which institutions offer opportunities for low-income and first-generation students.
Since 2015, ScholarMatch has analyzed 1,400 U.S. colleges and universities using public data. Their analysis includes metrics that are specifically relevant for students from households earning less than $50,000, such as loan default rates and average debt load at graduation for this income bracket. The list selects institutions that are offering robust student support and achieving excellent outcomes.
“It is an honor to be recognized by ScholarMatch, an organization that has an excellent reputation among community-based organizations,” said Sarah Scott, director of the Grissom Scholars Program and coordinator of Centre Scholarship Programs. “In the landscape where there is often negative news on college graduation rates and success, it is particularly thrilling to be recognized as a place where first-generation students thrive.”
According to Scott, Centre’s first-generation students have an 85 percent average four-year graduation rate, which is higher than continuous-generation students.
“First-generation students are thriving at Centre,” she added. “It has been remarkable that we have grown from nine to 19 percent first-generation students on campus in just five years. We are very fortunate to have the Grissom Scholars Program, a tribute to the College’s commitment to and respect for first-generation students.
“We have lots of opportunities for first-generation students from the Centre Compass Leadership Program to CentreFirsts, a student club celebrating and supporting first-generation students,” Scott said. “More than 50 first-generation faculty and staff have volunteered to help first-generation students who have questions or needs on campus.”
Nearly 90 percent of all Centre students qualify for some sort of need-based student financial aid, one of those being the Pell Grant.
Patrick Noltemeyer, chief planning officer and special assistant to the president, said that from Fall 2010 to Fall 2017, the number of Pell Grant recipients in the first-year class has increased from 58/356 to 70/401.
“Our Pell graduation rate is very similar to our overall graduation rate and was higher in two of the last four years,” he added. “We have a lot of success retaining all students, and Pell recipients in particular. Pell retention rates have been above the overall retention rate in six of the last seven years.
by Kerry Steinhofer
November 16, 2018