Video: Presidential call to action to expand college opportunity
Monday, Jan. 27, 2014
MANHATTAN -- A new call to action by the president of the United States seeks to provide more college opportunity. Kansas State University is already doing its part to make the American dream possible for everyone.
On Jan. 16, President Obama issued a call to action, which included more than 100 new commitments to expand college opportunity to low-income families. Steven Dandaneau, vice provost for undergraduate studies, says Kansas State University already focuses on making college an option for everyone. He thinks this new call to action, in the end, will be positive for universities.
"The details are a challenge at times, but I'm sure things will be worked out and we will welcome the call to advance access for students," Dandaneau said.
Forty percent of Kansas State University's student population is made up of first-generation students, who are the first person in their family to attend college. Dandaneau says that's a rare number for a large, four-year university. One of the reasons for the large percentage is a highly selective program called First Scholars. The program is funded by the Suder Foundation and is committed to providing opportunity to first-generation students through scholarships and support programs.
"It's crucial that we really protect access for students so we don't deny people merely because of their income or their family's income," Dandaneau said. "Everyone deserves to have the college experience."
Kansas State University is one of seven universities chosen for the First Scholars Program. The other universities are University of Kentucky, University of Alabama, Southern Illinois University, University of Memphis, Northern Arizona University and Washington State University.