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Obama convenes college leaders on expanding access

By The Associated Press

This article was published January 16, 2014 at 9:23 a.m.

WASHINGTON — President Barack Obama is bringing together university presidents from across the country to exact commitments from each to expand access to higher education.

The president and first lady Michelle Obama were to greet leaders from more than 100 colleges and universities, including University of Arkansas Chancellor G. David Gearhart, plus 40 nonprofit and other groups, in a White House auditorium Thursday. The price of admission: a promise to voluntarily take action to help more low-income students attend college.

The participating schools have agreed to take action in one of four areas:

• Helping low-income students connect with colleges that can meet their needs and then seeking to ensure that they graduate.

• Reaching out to elementary, middle and high school students in hopes that by engaging earlier, more students will be encouraged to pursue higher education.

• Boosting remedial programs so underprepared students will still have opportunities to succeed.

• Seeking to ensure lower-income students aren't disadvantaged by lack of access to college advisers and inability to prepare for entrance exams such as the SAT and ACT.

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