Contact: Lauren Grimaldi,

Partnership for College Completion (PCC) announces renowned scholar and student basic needs expert Dr. Sara Goldrick-Rab as the keynote speaker for the 2024 Virtual ILEA Equity Institute on Friday, April 12. 

Goldrick-Rab is the author of “Paying the Price, College Costs, Financial Aid, and the Betrayal of the American Dream, senior fellow at Education Northwest, adjunct professor at the Community College of Philadelphia, and founder of The Hope Center for College, Community, and Justice.

Dr. Goldrick-Rab will share her expertise in a fireside chat with Dr. Claudia Mercado, PCC’s Senior Director of College and University Partnerships. 

“We are thrilled to have Dr. Sara Goldrick-Rab join us for this important day of learning and sharing best practices,” Dr. Mercado said. “Her research and dedication to students have inspired countless higher education professionals across the country and it is an honor to have her be part of our Equity Institute.” 

Throughout the day, attendees will learn from fellow practitioners and higher education professionals with presentations geared toward basic student needs and ways to support students who are struggling financially. 

“I am excited to speak at PCC’s 2024 Virtual ILEA Equity Institute and share my learnings on students’ basic needs,” Goldrick-Rab said. “I’ve dedicated my career to advocating for student financial needs and PCC is doing phenomenal work in the state of Illinois to help create equitable outcomes for all students.” 

In October 2018, PCC launched the Illinois Equity in Attainment Initiative (ILEA), the organization’s signature effort to galvanize direct and urgent action with a group of two-year and four-year, public and private non-profit colleges and universities across the state. Twenty-five institutions publicly committed to the PCC’s goal to eliminate racial and socioeconomic achievement gaps by 2025 and aggressively prioritize increasing completion rates on their campuses.

The ILEA Equity Institute is a virtual event that brings together hundreds of like-minded higher education professionals, staff, faculty, administrators, students, advocates, and community members to exchange best practices and learn from leading experts in the field. This year’s event is open to all and the 2024 theme is Empowering Students: Fostering Equity Through Basic Needs and Financial Support Structures.

For more information and to register for the event, visit the PCC website.