Professor Susan Dynarski named a 2020 Carnegie Fellow for her work to reduce inequalities in education

May 12, 2020

Professor Susan Dynarski, a faculty member in the School of Education and the Ford School of Public Policy, has been named a 2020 Andrew Carnegie Fellow.


Dynarski and Ford School colleague H. Luke Shaefer are among 27 awardees who each will receive $200,000 for high-caliber scholarly research in the humanities and social sciences that focuses on important, enduring issues confronting society.

Dynarski’s own story as a first-generation college student who went to Harvard fuels her passion for the research she conducts and policy ideas she promotes. Her work converges on the central theme of reducing socioeconomic and racial inequality in educational attainment and broadening access to higher education.

She led the development of a low-cost solution, the HAIL Scholarship, which has successfully tripled the number of applications and doubled enrollment for low-income students at U-M. With the Carnegie Fellowship, Dynarski will evaluate the effects of the HAIL Scholarship on persistence, course-taking (majors, credit accumulation), and completion rates by comparing scholarship recipients against a control group. It will also look at effects related to gender, income, and racial inequality.

“I’m gobsmacked and grateful,” said Dynarski. “The Carnegie Fellowship will allow me to expand the scope and broaden the impact of my research on reducing inequality in education."

Elizabeth Moje, Dean of the School of Education, said, “Sue’s recognition as an outstanding scholar whose work addresses inequities in society is well deserved. Her approach to educational research serves Carnegie Corporation’s mission to invest in knowledge that inspires informed action in education. Sue is an exemplary scholar who produces impactful research and is adept at communicating her findings to large and diverse audiences.”

The Andrew Carnegie Fellows Program, established in 2015, represents an overall investment of $38 million in some 200 recipients whose scholarly research includes U.S. democracy, the environment, technological and cultural evolution, and international relations. The criteria prioritize the originality and potential impact of a proposal, as well as a scholar’s capacity to communicate the findings with a broad audience.