The Oldest College Newspaper in Pennsylvania

The Lafayette

The Oldest College Newspaper in Pennsylvania

The Lafayette

The Oldest College Newspaper in Pennsylvania

The Lafayette

Letter to the Editor

This letter is in response to the article published in the September 12 issue about Pell grant percentages being used as an indicator of socioeconomic diversity on college campuses, and how Lafayette compares to other colleges on this basic metric.

Allow us to share some additional items that we believe affirms the college›s commitment to access, inclusion, affordability, and other steps that the admissions and financial aid teams are taking to diversify enrollment.

While our Director of Financial Aid, Ashley Bianchi, appropriately questioned Pell grant eligibility as a perfect measure of socio-economic diversity on college campuses, we believe it is important for our campus community to know of the real progress being made in our efforts diversify enrollment at Lafayette. 

The number of students who have enrolled under our New Horizons initiative has increased significantly in recent years. Conceived and implemented under former Director of Financial Aid, Arlina DeNardo, this program was initiated to limit the loan expectation for our students with the greatest financial need. Since 2010-11, the number of students enrolling at Lafayette from families earning less than $50,000 per year (with comparable assets) has increased 48 percent, from 89 students to 132 students entering Lafayette in 2013-14.

This has occurred in part by ramping up our outreach to high school students, parents and college counselors. Last year the admissions team and some supportive colleagues shared our story in more than 1300 schools and community based organizations across the country and around the world. The college has also signed new partnerships with Philadelphia Futures, Achievement First, Mastery Charter and The Opportunity Network; organizations that are all committed to guiding high ability students from disadvantaged backgrounds toward colleges that share their missions and values. 

The truth is, the Lafayette student body is more diverse now than we have been at any point in our history in relation to socio-economic diversity, students of color, countries of citizenship, and states of residency. We are committed to increasing diversity in the broadest sense of the term, including socio-economic backgrounds. 


Vice President of Enrollment Management


Assistant Vice President of Enrollment Management

Leave a Comment

Comments (0)

If you wish for your response to an article to be submitted as a letter to the editor, please email [email protected].
All Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *