As bachelor’s degrees have become instrumental to most careers, policymakers have long been working toward the goal of making a college education available to anyone who wants one.

Last week, University President John J. DeGioia attended the White House College Opportunity Summit — a small first step from the university toward reaching that milestone. But all too often, the hype that is generated during these summits fades away in the following weeks and months, and policy goals fall victim to political apathy. We urge DeGioia to continue to use both Georgetown policy and the university’s political capital to encourage diversity of socioeconomic status in colleges around the country.

It is our university’s Catholic identity that requires Georgetown to be at the forefront of efforts to provide higher education for low-income students. A university centrally focused on social justice, diverse discourse and the well-being of humankind, as Georgetown so often emphasizes it is, must not merely participate but rather lead the way in providing more equitable access to higher education.

President Obama has revived the federal government’s dedication to making college more affordable, and the ball is now in our court, as it is for colleges nationwide. Given Georgetown’s principled commitment to this cause and our proximity to education policymakers, we are poised to be among academic leaders in this effort.

Backed by the university’s Catholic mission, DeGioia should continue to publicly establish Georgetown’s dedication to making a college education available to all who seek it.

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