The Level Up program matches low-income California freshmen with slightly older mentors at 29 colleges. The advice and friendship help keep students in school, organizers say.
Students aiming for the Ivy League, Stanford, UC Berkeley or other top private and public universities learn about how to get there.
USC professor Shaun Harper will lead a national survey that seeks to explore what college students think about their experiences about race, gender and other factors.
The study contends that Pell grant students would have a better chance at graduating if they started at four-year, elite colleges. It says that affluent campuses can easily afford to enroll more.
University of Chicago and University of Southern California study found 13 percent return on investment in high-quality early education programs for children from birth to age 5.
Girls and young women often comprise at least 60 percent of students in programs. Attracting more boys is now a priority, but it won't be easy.