Economically disadvantaged students given opportunity to advance at Adrian College

U.S. News and World Report ranks AC as ‘Top Performer on Social Mobility’

ADRIAN — A harsh reality for economically disadvantaged students is they are less likely to finish college than their financially stable peers. However, there is still opportunity and hope for those disadvantaged students at Adrian College, which was recognized by U.S. News & World Report in September as being a “Top Performer on Social Mobility” in its 2021 Best Colleges edition. Adrian College was ranked 27th as a Regional Midwest College. This honor is presented only to institutions that enroll and graduate large numbers of disadvantaged students awarded with Pell Grants, a form of need-based financial aid.

“Seeing students who are less fortunate than others succeed is a big part of what this educational institution is all about,” Adrian College President Jeffrey Docking said. “The number of students with Pell Grants at Adrian really shows our commitment. It indicates that we have a lot of kids coming from working-class backgrounds. Being recognized for promoting social mobility is very meaningful for us because we have helped so many students improve the future quality of their lives.”

Approximately 600 of Adrian College’s students are classified as being “disadvantaged” and receive Pell Grants. The vast majority of these federal grants are awarded to students whose adjusted gross family incomes are under $50,000.

Adrian College also assists disadvantaged students who receive Pell Grants by helping them find appropriate funding through scholarships.

Cordell Hernandez, a senior from Addison, Mich. majoring in business administration, plans on being a small business owner after graduating in May. He loves being at Adrian College because of its small-town atmosphere and being able to have close relationships with his professors and classmates. Hernandez is extremely grateful for financial aid the College has helped him receive in the form of a scholarship for disadvantaged students.

“It’s helped not only me but my family as well to be able to afford college,” he said.

Nicholas Mooney, a senior studying psychology and criminal justice, also received additional funding through a scholarship arranged through Adrian College. He said he will be forever grateful for assistance he was given because without it he would not have been able to earn a bachelor’s degree to advance his social standing.

“Without it, I would not have been able to attend college whatsoever. I’m a first generation college student in my family,” he said.

Mooney plans on joining the military after graduating and then pursuing his life-long goal of becoming a federal law enforcement officer.

Eve Schortgen is a sophomore from Hamler, Ohio who was afraid she wouldn’t be able to continue studying teacher education at Adrian College because of the hardship brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic. She said the financial aid she received was a “Godsend” and made it possible for her to complete the fall semester.

“Hopefully, because I’m allowed to continue my education, I’ll be able to go into schools locally and be an elementary teacher,” she said. “So, thank you from the bottom of my heart for doing this.”

For more information about opportunities available at Adrian College, visit