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Underserved Potential

In Focus

Underserved Potential

The ideas, research, and actions from across Harvard University aimed at making education a pathway to success for everyone.

Progress report

Members of the Harvard community are taking a variety of approaches in the fight to make education more equitable.

From the experts

Why is an equitable education so important?

Harvard’s Ronald Ferguson, director of The Achievement Gap Initiative at Harvard University, says education may be the key to solving broader American inequality, but we have to solve educational inequality first.

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Personal essay

Tauheedah Baker-Jones

“As educators, we are charged with creating engaged citizens who uphold our democratic and pluralistic ideals,” says the Ed School alum and Atlanta Public Schools Chief Equity and Social Justice Officer.

Read more on the Harvard Gazette

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Better college access for Native people

Only about 14% of Native American people attend college, and many often don’t graduate. Tarajean Yazzie-Mintz, currently the CEO of First Light Education, has spent decades trying to lower the many barriers facing Native young people as they try to access higher education.

Learn more from the Graduate School of Education



Here to learn

Shirley Vargas is harnessing the power of Nebraska’s state education agencies to create solutions that work for every student. “We have to make sure that what we’re doing is actually in the best interest of students,” said the School of Education alum.

Read the To Serve Better profile

Where we’re focused

These are just a few of the initiatives Harvard Schools have created to take on these important issues.

Learn more today

“If we hope to make progress toward addressing longstanding educational inequities, we have to invest our time and resources in those areas where we believe we can have outsized impact … including continued access to low-cost and free courses,” Larry Bacow, President of Harvard University.

See Harvard’s free online courses