Press Releases

ACT, Opportunity Insights Release Research on Using Legacy-Like Preferences to Increase Intergenerational Mobility

IOWA CITY, Iowa—Students from low-income families who attend elite colleges see, on average, higher future earnings than their peers at less selective schools. The problem? Many high-achieving students from low-income families are not attending high-performing schools and thus missing out on income-increasing benefits. A new research brief by ACT, informed by Opportunity Insights’ latest research, offers ACT’s recommendations for how colleges can increase intergenerational mobility—the change in socioeconomic status between generations—to reduce income segregation and narrow the intergenerational mobility gap.

#WhyApply Day 2021 on Sept. 17 Aims to Help Students

IOWA CITY, Iowa — High school seniors, facing challenges caused by COVID-19 disruptions, have an ally in their efforts to make plans for what happens after they graduate. Friday, Sept. 17, the American College Application Campaign (ACAC) will hold its annual #WhyApply Day, kicking off a season of activities designed to encourage more students to apply to college, particularly those who are systemically underserved, including students from low-income families as well as Black, Latinx, and Native American students. ACAC, a major effort within ACT’s Center for Equity in Learning, expects 6,000 U.S. high schools and nearly 500,000 students around the country to participate in events, ranging from taking part in #WhyApply Day to hosting college application completion events that will occur from now until December.

Latinx Students Facing COVID-19 Challenges Benefited Academically and Personally from Social and Emotional Learning, Study Finds

IOWA CITY, Iowa — Latinx middle school students primarily from low-income communities showed promising academic growth and gained interpersonal skills when they received social and emotional learning (SEL) lessons during the unprecedented COVID-19 pandemic, according to one of the first research initiatives to examine these issues. In fact, spending more time on the SEL lessons was associated with lower odds of a discipline incident and improved math grades in 2020.

ACT’s Center for Equity in Learning Announces New Leadership and Summer Agenda

Iowa City – ACT announced today that Tina Gridiron will lead as Vice President of ACT’s Center for Equity in Learning. Gridiron, who joined the Center in 2019, brings extensive experience in philanthropic, non-profit and education leadership through her 14 years at Lumina Foundation, as Board member and Vice Chair of the Board of Grantmakers for Education, and as a student affairs professional with more than 10 years focused on diversity, inclusion and student success. Her insights and experience will focus and enhance the work of the Center with its external partners, and shape ACT’s broader efforts to close gaps in equity, opportunity and achievement in education and the workforce. Gridiron has been a long-standing champion of student voice, and consistently ensures the inclusion of diverse perspectives in designing change initiatives. She is a collaborative leader with a commitment to excellence, integrity, and results. Truly, the right fit for elevating ACT’s mission and supporting learners’ success in this season of uncertainty.

Black Lives Matter: Working Toward a More Equitable, Accessible, and Just System

A statement from interim CEO Janet Godwin I’ve watched in horror as George Floyd was murdered. I’ve witnessed the peaceful protests across our country; the anguish, the grief, the outrage, the hope. I feel those emotions, too. And it’s why I believe we must do better. ACT believes that Black Lives Matter. Black Students Matter. Equitable treatment – in education, as in all our systems – matters.

ACT and American Federation of Teachers’ Share My Lesson Join Forces to Help Teachers, Students Navigate Online Learning During COVID-19 Crisis

IOWA CITY, Iowa—When schools across the country suddenly closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, America’s teachers were left to determine—often with uncertain resources and supports—how to effectively teach students out of the classroom. ACT, Inc. and the American Federation of Teachers (AFT) announced today that they have joined forces to help teachers navigate the rapidly changing world of distance learning.

Rural Students and Students of Color Report Gaps in Availability of Mental Health Support

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE January 22, 2020 Rural Students and Students of Color Report Gaps in Availability of Mental Health Support ACT Releases New Report with Recommendations to Improve Mental Health Access IOWA CITY, Iowa—Roughly one in four American adolescents experience mental health challenges, yet new survey data show that rural students and students of color have more difficulty accessing help when compared to suburban and white students. According to “Supporting the Mental Health Well-Being of High School Students,” a new report from ACT focusing on the results of a 2019 survey of ACT test-takers, students of color were less likely than white students to say that they could reach out to a teacher or counselor if they needed mental health support (48% of African American students compared to 57% of white students).

ACT’s Center for Equity in Learning and Boys & Girls Clubs of America Team Up to Help More Students Go to College

IOWA CITY, Iowa — ACT’s Center for Equity in Learning and Boys & Girls Clubs of America are proud to announce a partnership that aims to help more students from underserved populations go to college by directly providing fee waivers for the ACT® test to eligible students from low-income families. The ACT measures what students have learned in school to determine their academic readiness for college.