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HuffPost What's Working Honor Roll: This College Is A Beacon Of Opportunity For Low-Income Students

04/10/2015 10:42 am ET | Updated Apr 10, 2015

As journalists, we dutifully report on what's going wrong, from scandals and corruption to natural disasters and social problems. But far too often the media fails to show the whole picture, neglecting to tell the stories of what is working. From scientific breakthroughs to successful crime-reduction initiatives, the What’s Working Honor Roll highlights some of the best reporting and analysis, from a range of media outlets, on all the ways people are working toward solutions to some of our greatest challenges.

vassar college

Low-income students can have an incredibly difficult time getting into college, even if they are top-achieving students with exceptional grades. The result is an enormous diversity problem on college campuses. That's what the Jack Kent Cooke Foundation is trying to change, with a $1 million prize that will be given each year to a college that has made an extraordinary effort to accept, enroll and graduate low-income students. This year's inaugural prize went to Vassar College -- where one in every four students has a family income "low enough to qualify for federal Pell grants," according to The New York Times' David Leonhardt.

"Among colleges with a four-year graduation rate of at least 75 percent, none has done more than Vassar to enroll low-income students and give them large scholarships, according to an Upshot analysis last year that Cooke Foundation officials said influenced their decision," he wrote.

The prize is just one sign of positive change occurring in higher education to improve economic diversity. Leonhardt wrote that several other schools are now making significant efforts to improve diversity, including Pomona, Amherst and Harvard.

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If you know a story you think should be on our Honor Roll, please send an email to our editor Catherine Taibi via catherine.taibi@huffingtonpost.com with the subject line "WHAT'S WORKING."

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