The University of Maryland is one of 30 colleges and universities nationwide teaming up to grow the number of talented low- and moderate-income students at U.S. undergraduate institutions with high graduation rates.

The American Talent Initiative, made up of public and private institutions such as Harvard University, Johns Hopkins University and Vanderbilt University, is supported by a $1.7 million grant from Bloomberg Philanthropies, according to the Baltimore Business Journal. Each of these institutions boasts a graduation rate of more than 70 percent, and collectively, the group aims to expand the number of low- and moderate-income students enrolled in a college or university by at least 50,000 by 2025.

“As a land-grant flagship at a time when many people feel left behind, our mission of social mobility and educational opportunity is more critical than ever,” university President Wallace Loh told UMD Right Now. “Our vigorous efforts to recruit the most talented, highest achievers, regardless of socioeconomic background, will contribute to this collaboration. Participating is an honor, a challenge, and a duty.”

To achieve this goal, these institutions want to boost recruiting and outreach efforts, prioritize need-based financial aid and work to eliminate graduation rate gaps between students of different income levels, according to UMD Right Now. They will also contribute to research at other colleges and universities to attempt to make it easier for low- and moderate-income students to succeed.

These colleges and universities will share their findings and data, and members will publish their progress annually as they try to reach their goal of adding 50,000 low-income students in less than 10 years.

In 2012, 50.9 percent of recent low-income high school graduates were enrolled in a two- or four-year college, according to a study by the National Center for Education Statistics.

In the U.S., more than 270 institutions have graduation rates of 70 percent or higher. More of these institutions are expected to join the initiative in the future.