Why Minds Matter

Research continues to demonstrate the uneven playing field on which low-income, high-performing students are competing with their higher-income counterparts for admission to colleges and universities. Minds Matter provides low-income students with people, resources, and experiences that level that playing field. Minds Matter also provides an unparalleled opportunity for volunteers to make a life-changing difference in students’ lives and to become a part of a vibrant community of like-minded, college-educated professionals. To learn more about the need Minds Matter fills, please follow the links below.


A Nudge to Poorer Students to Aim High on College (New York Times)

  • “[N]ew research show[s] that most low-income students with high test scores and grades do not even apply to, let alone attend, select colleges. Forgoing significant financial aid, many students may instead enroll in nearby colleges with low graduation rates.”
  • “Low-income teenagers who excel in high school but fail to graduate from college, she said, are ‘an untapped resource.'”

Wanted at the Ivys: Needy, High-Achieving Students (NBC)

Sneak Preview: What the New SAT and Digital ACT Might Look Like (New York Times)

  • “Kids need to have a level of ambition,” he said, “because what we find is that absent the intensity of a peer group committed to getting into college, kids just fall away, even a lot of the ones who do very well on the test, and could go to top colleges.”

In Climbing the Income Ladder, Location Matters (New York Times)

Breaking the Glass Ceiling of Achievement for Low-Income Students and Students of Color (The Education Trust)

From Poverty to a Top-Tier College (New York Times)

Expanding College Opportunities for High-Achieving, Low Income Students (Stanford Institute for Economic Policy Research)

Making Summer Count (RAND)

Why American Colleges Are Becoming a Force for Inequality (The Atlantic)

Schooling Ourselves in an Unequal America (New York Times)

Slow Ideas (New Yorker)

  • “The most common objection is that, even if it works, this kind of one-on-one, on-site mentoring “isn’t scalable.” But that’s one thing it surely is. . . To reduce illiteracy, countries, starting with our own, built schools, trained professional teachers, and made education free and compulsory for all children…Such programs have been extraordinarily effective. They have cut the global illiteracy rate from one in three adults in 1970 to one in six today.”
  • Technology and incentive programs are not enough. “Diffusion is essentially a social process through which people talking to people spread an innovation,” wrote Everett Rogers, the great scholar of how new ideas are communicated and spread. Mass media can introduce a new idea to people. But, Rogers showed, people follow the lead of other people they know and trust when they decide whether to take it up. Every change requires effort, and the decision to make that effort is a social process.”