On January 16, CMC President Hiram Chodosh participated in a summit at the White House focusing on increasing college accessibility. At the summit, in which presidents from 100 college and universities were in attendance, Chodosh presented his new initiative entitled The Student Imperative. The main goal of the initiative is to raise $100 million towards the school’s financial aid fund, which will be added to the $27 million CMC currently allocates toward financial aid
The fund-raising campaign is one of the 3 main goals of the initiative as articulated by Chodosh, which include, “the reduction of cost, including for low- and moderate-income families, the enhancement of value, and the development of thoughtful, productive, and responsible leaders.”
The Student Imperative is part of a broader movement sponsored by President Barack Obama, who, along with First Lady Michelle Obama, has championed the cause of college accessibility. In fact, education across all levels was a key component of Obama’s recent State of the Union Address on January 28. In particular, Obama is placing added emphasis on increasing opportunities for students from all backgrounds.
“I’m reaching out to some of America’s leading foundations and corporations on a new initiative to help more young men of color facing tough odds stay on track and reach their full potential,” Obama said.
According the white house website, the US currently ranks 12th in the world in four-year degree attainment among 25-34 year olds, and Obama has challenged the country to have the highest proportion of college graduates in the world by 2020.
The White House Summit represents one of Obama’s recent attempts to accomplish the long-term goal of education reform, and Chodosh is hoping to make sure that Claremont McKenna plays a role in accomplishing it.