Bloomberg Philanthropies names Rowan an American Talent Initiative High-Flier for lower-income students

Bloomberg Philanthropies names Rowan an American Talent Initiative High-Flier for lower-income students


Bloomberg Philanthropies today recognized Rowan University as an American Talent Initiative (ATI) High-Flier, one of 28 high-graduation-rate institutions nationally that are leading college access and success for lower-income students.

Rowan received the distinction for its high Pell share and innovative recruitment, enrollment and retention practices. Over the next year, ATI and Bloomberg Philanthropies will work with the 28 institutions recognized as High-Fliers (full list below) to share what they’ve learned with other four-year colleges and universities across the nation.

An initiative led by Bloomberg Philanthropies in partnership with Aspen Institute’s College Excellence Program and Ithaka S+R, ATI serves as a growing nationwide alliance of high-graduation-rate colleges and universities grounded in the belief that they can collectively expand access for tens of thousands of high-achieving, lower-income students. By doing so, these institutions are increasing socioeconomic diversity within their student communities.

"The economic fallout from the pandemic has made it even more important for schools across the country to adopt innovative new ways to attract and retain students from under-represented backgrounds," said Michael R. Bloomberg, founder of Bloomberg LP and Bloomberg Philanthropies and the 108th mayor of New York City. “I applaud ATI's 28 High-Fliers for leading the way in this work and increasing the diversity of their campuses. We hope their efforts serve as an example for other schools that are committed to creating opportunity for more lower-income students so we can accelerate national progress on this critical challenge.”

Since ATI’s launch in 2016, Rowan has maintained one of the highest Pell shares among the 137 institutions in the American Talent Initiative, which pools knowledge and resources to boost graduation rates of lower-income students.

Rowan achieved this by engaging with and bringing back former students who paused their education before completing their degree. To reach that student population, Rowan enhanced the Degree Works audit system, identifying dozens of former students who met all requirements but did not apply for graduation. Rowan then reached out to these students and awarded them their degrees.

“Public institutions such as Rowan typically have a wide range of students with differing resources, support systems and academic backgrounds,” said Rowan President Ali Houshmand. “We believe it’s our obligation to carefully research and address student stop-out. This is hard and tedious work, but building support programs and new pathways to degree completion helps not only the students complete what they started, but their families and the communities they live in.”

This work has been particularly evident in the two years since Rowan reaffirmed its commitment through ATI’s Accelerating Opportunity campaign. Along with fellow ATI members, they set public, aspirational lower-income student enrollment goals for the first time to help combat the lingering impacts of the pandemic. Two years in, Rowan is achieving its Accelerating Opportunity goal and advancing a shared commitment among all 137 ATI members to close equity-based retention and graduation gaps.

As a result of Rowan’s leadership in ATI and the Accelerating Opportunity campaign, thousands of additional lower-income students across the United States are earning bachelor’s degrees. Data shows that these students are more likely to earn higher wages, pursue graduate degrees, become entrepreneurs and engage in their communities.

For more information on ATI and Bloomberg Philanthropies’ other initiatives to expand college access and success, please visit:

List of American Talent Initiative High-Fliers

  • Baruch College (New York, NY)
  • Boston University (Boston, MA)
  • Centre College (Danville, KY)
  • Claremont McKenna College (Claremont, CA)
  • Colby College (Waterville, ME)
  • George Mason University (Fairfax, VA)
  • Gettysburg College (Gettysburg, PA)
  • Illinois Institute of Technology (Chicago, IL)
  • Johns Hopkins University (Baltimore, MD)
  • Muhlenberg College (Allentown, PA)
  • Northwestern University (Evanston, IL)
  • Princeton University (Princeton, NJ)
  • Rowan University (Glassboro, NJ)
  • State University of New York at Oneonta (Oneonta, NY)
  • Stevens Institute of Technology (Hoboken, NJ)
  • Stony Brook University (Stony Brook, NY)
  • Towson University (Towson, MD)
  • University of California, Merced (Merced, CA)
  • University of California, San Diego (San Diego, CA)
  • University of Chicago (Chicago, IL)
  • University of Dayton (Dayton, OH)
  • University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign (Champaign, IL)
  • University of Michigan-Ann Arbor (Ann Arbor, MI)
  • University of Texas-Austin (Austin, TX)
  • University of Wisconsin-Madison (Madison, WI)
  • Washington University in St. Louis (St. Louis, MO)
  • Wellesley College (Wellesley, MA)
  • Yale University (New Haven, CT)

About the American Talent Initiative
The American Talent Initiative (ATI) is a Bloomberg Philanthropies-supported collaboration between the Aspen Institute College Excellence Program, Ithaka S+R, and more than 135 top colleges and universities nationwide committed to making progress toward their Accelerating Opportunity lower-income student enrollment goals by 2025. To realize this milestone, ATI facilitates research, practice-sharing, and communications campaigns around presidential leadership, access and affordability, community college transfer, student veteran engagement, and student success and equity in the academic experience. With this support, members can make measurable progress toward their aspirational lower-income student enrollment goals and minimize equity-based graduation gaps by 2025. To learn more about ATI, visit

About Rowan University
A top 100 national public research institution, Rowan University offers bachelor’s through doctoral and professional programs in person and online to 22,000 students. With eight colleges and nine schools, Rowan focuses on practical research at the intersection of engineering, medicine, science and business while ensuring excellence in undergraduate education. It has earned national recognition for innovation; high-quality, affordable education; and public-private partnerships. One of two public universities in the nation to offer M.D. and D.O. degree programs, Rowan is also developing New Jersey’s first veterinary medical school.