HAIL Scholars: Increasing Economic Diversity at a Flagship University

January 2014 - Current

Project Summary

EPI researchers and University of Michigan administrators developed and piloted the HAIL scholarship research program to attract low-income, high-achieving students to consider applying to and enrolling in the university. The project addresses three issues known to affect college application behavior among low-income, high-achieving students: uncertainty about their suitability for an elite school, over-estimates by students and parents of the net cost of college, and procedural barriers such as aid applications. The intervention targets low-income, high-achieving students in Michigan, as well as their parents and their principals. This effort is the precursor to the Go Blue Guarantee launched in summer 2017.

Research Objectives

Building on prior research that indicates the importance of college selectivity for college completion and economic mobility, results from this study will help inform whether a low-cost intervention can increase the likelihood that low-income, high-achieving students not only apply to and enroll in highly selective institutions, but also graduate from those schools. Researchers, administrators, and policymakers who are interested in identifying best practices for increasing enrollment and graduation rates of low-income students at highly-selective institutions will benefit from this initiative.


Office of Enrollment Management, University of Michigan

Michigan Department of Education

Funding Partners

Smith Richardson Foundation