IPSI Spotlight

Academic Readiness

You graduate high school all excited and ready to take on the world, and then when you get to college, they tell you that you are not ready...for college. CUNY Start is doing something about it. Its track record shows that with good teaching and I-have-your-back counseling, youths who otherwise would likely drop out have a solid shot at making it.

Texas, like other states, continues to struggle in increasing reading and writing scores while achieving boosts in math and science scores thanks to a STEM push. Most interventions need not be complicated. Here's how a simple writing exercise in middle school led to higher college enrollment.

Paying for College

How much will it really cost to go to college? Institutions can provide students and parents with a pretty clear picture of what they’ll pay in tuition and fees, and they can give students living on campus the exact price of room and board. The problem is that their estimates can be wildly off base, leaving students with an inaccurate picture of the real price tag for their college aspirations.

Wealthfront, a robo-investing startup, says (usual disclaimers apply) the actual out-of-pocket costs of college are much lower than sticker prices suggest:

In fact, financial aid can be so substantial that many elite and extremely expensive colleges can turn out to be surprising bargains. For example, at Princeton University the full cost of tuition and room and board is currently about $67,100 a year. But according to data from the U.S. Department of Education, the average Princeton student’s out-of-pocket cost after financial aid is just $7,100 a year. For context, that’s less than what some students will pay at their respective home state public universities.

Finally, the onus is also on the universities to make it easier for underserved, low-income students to attend college. A ranking called the College Access Index is based on how many low- and middle-income students colleges graduate and how much those students must pay. The index is a measure of which top institutions are doing the most to promote the American dream.

College Access and Life Outcomes

Poor middle school and high school students who live through major job losses in their region attend college at significantly lower rates when they are 19 years old, according to new research published in the June 16 issue of the journal Science. A 7 percent state job loss when a student is an adolescent is tied to a 20 percent decline in likelihood that the poorest young people will attend college.

Those who attend more selective schools tend to be farther from home, and those who attended private schools tend to be farther from home. This means higher-achieving students, or those from wealthier families, are being sucked away from these towns, often never to return. This means the people who are left behind are either not attending college or attending less selective colleges—which means it’s less likely for them to attain an advanced degree.


Boys are rapidly falling behind in college enrollment rates, and we may need to appeal to their moral code to motivate them in order to build a better society. A call to men's curriculum, LIVERESPECT™ Coaching Healthy & Respectful Manhood, offers coaches, educators, mentors, and youth advocates the tools to build young men of character.

The New York Times talked with seniors across the country who are NOT headed to college about their plans, hopes and dreams.