American Talent Initiative

The American Talent Initiative (ATI) is a Bloomberg Philanthropies-supported collaboration between the Aspen Institute’s College Excellence Program, Ithaka S+R, and a growing alliance of colleges and universities dedicated to substantially expanding opportunity and access for low- and moderate-income students. 

UCI is committed to doing its part in helping ATI reach its goal to help 50,000 high-achieving, low-income students to get into top tier higher education institutions by 2025. 

As outlined in the 2018 ATI Impact Report, UCI was credited as a leader in using community college pipelines to increase socioeconomic diversity. To view the full report, click here

According to the 2020 ATI Impact Report, which will be published in full mid-February, data report, UCI is leading its peer schools when it comes to Pell enrollment. The data will provide information and insights about the aggregate progress to the 50,000-by-2025 goal of ATI member institutions. The preliminary findings that have been shared support UCI’s strong commitments to socioeconomic diversity, increased graduation rates, focus on student retention, and success in first-generation programming.

Annual data reporting is an essential part of understanding how UCI is contributing to the collective effort to achieve ATI’s goal.

ATI classifies students as low- and moderate-income based on their receipt of a federal, need-based Pell grant. Therefore, to meet the collective goal, ATI hopes to increase the number of Pell students enrolled at the participating institutions from 484,767 in 2015–16 to 534,767 by 2025–26. 

Each year, ATI members submit data on enrollment, retention, and graduation. 

In addition, ATI members may opt to submit additional data on the detailed income distribution of their students, data that are not available in the public sphere. Detailed data on the income distribution allows for the analysis of the relationship between the share of Pell students enrolled and the share of students in various income categories. 

For the subset of members who submitted these data, we find that the share of Pell students enrolled roughly corresponds to the share of students in the bottom three income categories—those whose families earn up to $75,000 per year. These data suggest that both low- and moderate-income students are receiving Pell grants at these institutions. 

From what has been shared prior to the official 2020 Impact Report, in the most recent year, UC Irvine has much to be proud of including:

In addition, for 2018-19, 48 percent of UC Irvine students were first- generation, and 30 percent were first-generation and awarded Pell.

For more information about the American Talent Initiative, visit