The American Talent Initiative (ATI) is a Bloomberg Philanthropies-supported collaboration between Aspen Institute’s College Excellence Program, Ithaka S+R, and a growing alliance of colleges and universities dedicated to substantially expanding access and opportunity for low- and moderate-income students at the nation’s colleges and universities with the highest graduation rates.

Today, ATI includes more than 135 institutions—a mix of public and private colleges and universities from all over the country—committed to enhancing their own efforts to recruit and support lower-income students, learning from each other, and contributing to research that will help other colleges and universities expand opportunity. 

For more information on ATI, please visit

Explore programs and projects building on ATI’s work:

Equity in the Academic Experience

Historically underserved students face a range of barriers when it comes to postsecondary education, from admissions to pedagogical practices to postgraduate support. ATI launched a community of practice in 2020, now comprising over 45 members, who are committed to fostering academic equity. Explore shared resources, reports, and more.

Improving Opportunities for Veterans

Since 2018, Ithaka S+R has made efforts to build support for student veterans in higher education. Our work includes a series of convenings held with the College Board, a report making the case for enrolling veterans at high-graduation-rate institutions, and a blog series highlighting the opportunities and challenges facing student veterans.

Digital Innovation for Equity Excellence in College Admissions

In 2023, ATI brought together an inaugural cohort of colleges and universities to pursue strategies that build deep academic and recruitment relationships with lower-income high schools, aided by technology. Cohort members engage with experts and each other to plan, develop, and implement interrelated strategies that build sustainable pathways via digital education to advance access, success, and equity.

Kessler Scholars Collaborative

Ithaka S+R is proud to serve as the evaluation partner for the Kessler Scholars Collaborative, an initiative that aims to empower first-generation students to reach their highest potential and achieve their educational and professional goals. Funded by the Wilpon Family Foundation and Bloomberg Philanthropies, the Collaborative was expanded in 2022 to include ten additional ATI member institutions.