Caltech has joined eight other member colleges and universities in the Association of Independent California Colleges and Universities (AICCU) to launch a new initiative that aims to enhance outreach efforts to inform families and prospective students across the state, particularly low-income and first-generation students, of the resources and support services available to students on each of their campuses.
The California Private College is Possible Initiative will help support representatives from the nine campuses in providing pertinent federal, state, and institutional financial aid resources, housing options, and campus support services—to high school and community college students, their families, and counselors, in a more coordinated fashion. Prospective students and their families will now be able or access this information and more in a single portal curated by AICCU. While the initiative is launching with nine campuses to start, the intent is to grow the group to be inclusive of the 85 private colleges and universities in the association.
The initiative was launched in response to concerns that many students and families do not believe that these private institutions are within their reach due to financial or academic concerns, organizers said. After meeting with California State Assemblymember Evan Low over the course of the last year, the inaugural institutions decided that better coordination of communications efforts about their programs and the options available to students would be one way to address the issue.
"We know that many students and families just don't see themselves at our institutions," said AICCU President Kristen Soares in a statement. "They do not think they can attend. They do not think they can afford it. We see a tremendous opportunity to change this, which is why we launched this new initiative to offer better coordinated outreach and resources, particularly for low-income and first-generation college students." The initiative, Soares added, "underscores our commitment to be bold and to act together to engage students from traditionally underrepresented communities across California."
Caltech's Kenneth Hargreaves, associate vice president for civic engagement and external affairs, says the Institute is pleased to be part of this initiative. "There is untapped capacity in the private nonprofit higher education sector in California," Hargreaves says. "This initiative will get the needed information in the hands of decision makers so they can consider all possibilities as they embark on their higher education journeys."
Joining Caltech in the launch of this initiative are Claremont McKenna College, Harvey Mudd College, Occidental College, Pomona College, Santa Clara University, Scripps College, Stanford University, and USC.
For more information, visit the AICCU website.