Survey: Barriers to supporting underserved students

May 1, 2020
  • Competencies
  • Diversity and Inclusion
  • Research
smiling female with the text overlay: "Gates Foundation Survey to Improve Equity and Outcomes"
Numerous barriers inhibit first-generation or low-income (FGLI) students from getting to college after they have been accepted. Research shows that low‐income, college‐intending students experience much higher rates of summer attrition from the college pipeline than their more affluent peers.
In the COVID-19 crisis, there is significant risk of attrition not just from incoming college students, but from current students who have been sent home from campuses around the country—particularly as programs to prevent summer melt are cancelled or reformatted. However, we know this is just one of many challenges institutions must overcome right now in supporting low-income students.

As registrars and admissions officers, you have direct insights on the top challenges faced by prospective, incoming, and enrolled students—and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation wants to hear from you. 

What are the most important issues that practitioners, leaders, and policy-makers/shapers like you are experiencing or working to address to support learners and opportunity seekers? The researchers particularly seek responses from those serving low-income communities and communities of color, especially  in California, Florida, Tennessee, Texas, and Washington.

Please click here to complete the short survey.

The first 1500 qualified responses will be rewarded with a $20 Amazon gift card. We thank you in advance for your time and thoughtful response. If you encounter any issues or have additional questions, please reach out to the survey team at 

Your responses will remain confidential to the research team and will NOT be seen by your institution or workplace. Insights from this survey will only be shared in aggregate.

The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation is committed to ensuring that all students have the opportunity to receive a high-quality education, and in particular seeks to increase low-income students’ college completion rates through innovations that can improve the productivity and performance of U.S. universities and colleges. Today, this goal remains ever critical, particularly given the outsized disruption that the public health crisis and economic impact may pose for low-income students. Your input helps ensure that the foundation's work is grounded in the most relevant challenges.





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