Traditional post-secondary education no longer provides a reliable and affordable pathway out of poverty for low-income individuals. Long-held beliefs that tout college education as a step up the ladder and out of poverty are fundamental tenets to achieving the ‘American Dream’. Over the years, the combined effects of declining enrollments, shrinking endowments and rising costs incentivized many nonselective private colleges to fill their freshman classes with low-income students and these in turn responded in droves. Lower-than-average graduation rates from these institutions and selection and/or tracking into low-paying jobs, however, have meant that many of these individuals continue to be trapped by poverty.  Despite the existence of perhaps more effective vocational and employer-focused alternatives, die-hard beliefs about the value of a traditional 4-year education persist alongside the undeniable reality that today’s low -income students are increasingly saddled with student loan debt that is “completely out of whack” with any earnings boost they’ll likely ever receive.


Please click here for full bios of the panelists. 

Anthony (Tony) Benoit
President, Ben Franklin Institute of Technology
Gillian Mason
Chair, Public Higher Education Network of Massachusetts
Jerry Rubin
President and Chief Executive Officer, JVS
Elizabeth Pauley
Senior Director, Education to Career, The Boston Foundation

Seminar Packet

The following items will be included in the packet materials:


Also mark your calendars for Parts II & III of the Economic Mobility Seminars!

‘I’ll need child care for that! Connecting employment, training, and child care

Thursday, November 15, 2016 * 3:00 – 5:00 PM, ABCD

To House and to hold: Rethinking home ownership

Thursday, January 12, 2017 * 3:00 – 5:00 PM, ABCD