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U of M plan aimed at retaining more students from low-income families

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A new initiative at the University of Minnesota is meant to improve retention of students from low-income families at the Twin Cities campus.

As the Minnesota Daily reports, U of M President Eric Kaler unveiled the Retaining all Our Students initiative during a White House summit meeting on access to higher education.

In a press release announcing the plan, Kaler defines low-income students as those who receive federal Pell grants. Currently, just over the 13 percent of those students are not returning to the university after their first year. Among other students, just under ten percent fail to return.

Kaler says the new plan includes providing information that tailored to the financial planning needs of low-income families. He says it will affect about 5,000 students on the Twin Cities campus.

Higher education leaders from around the country were at the White House Thursday for the summit led by First Lady Michelle Obama. National Public Radio reports the Obama administration has set a goal of seeing more low-income students graduate from college.

The conference also included a screening of an independent film from Twin Cities screenwriter Michael Starrbury. The movie "The Inveitable Defeat of Mister and Pete" portrays the plight of two inner-city boys left to fend for themselves after authorities apprehend their mothers. It was to be the subject of a panel discussion at the conference.

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