Matt Newlin, Ed.D.

Consultant, Higher Education & College Access

Bio: Matt Newlin

Matt Newlin, Ed.D. is a higher education and college access consultant with 15 years’ experience supporting and advocating for first-generation and low-income students. Matt most recently served as Director of Rural Initiatives with College Advising Corps where he worked to increase postsecondary enrollment for students from rural and small-town communities. He also established the Rural Adviser Network which provided resources and training for 200 rural-serving advisers across the country. Prior to CAC, Matt worked at both public and private universities in a variety of student affairs and enrollment management positions. At the Brown School of Social Work at Washington University he established the school’s first need-based scholarship; a first-generation student support program; and campus-wide financial literacy initiatives. Prior to that, Matt worked in financial aid at the University of Missouri – St. Louis where he developed and led workshops for high schools and community colleges to educate low-income, first-generation students and families about financial aid and the transition to college.

As a passionate professional, Matt has served as an academic adviser, student group adviser, Green Dot trainer, and Staff Council co-chair. At Washington University, he worked with Students for Socioeconomic Diversity (WU-FUSED) to increase support for Pell-eligible students and demand better recruitment of students from low-income backgrounds. He is actively involved in NASPA as a Region IV-W representative for the Socioeconomic and Class Issues in Higher Education (SCIHE) KC and serves on the leadership team for NACAC’s Rural and Small Town SIG.

Matt is also a Dissertation Advisor for doctoral candidates in the Higher Education Executive Ed.D. at Gwynedd Mercy University.

As a consultant, Matt’s clients include Harvard’s National Center for Rural Education Research Networks (NCRERN), NASPA’s Center for First-generation Student Success, Education Design Lab, U-Thrive Educational Services, the Missouri Department of Higher Education and Workforce Development (MDHEWD), the National Student Employment Association (NSEA), State Technical College of Missouri, and more.

Matt holds a Doctor of Education in Higher Education Leadership from Maryville University, a Master of Education in Higher Education from the University of Missouri – St. Louis, and two Bachelor of Arts degrees (Communication and English) from the University of Missouri – Columbia. Learn more about Matt at

Speaker Travels From


Matt is available for in-person and virtual engagements! Contact us today.

Speaker Topics

Rural Student College Access & Success

Understanding the institutional barriers faced by students from rural communities; identifying strategies to increase access and success; becoming “rural student ready.”

Socioeconomic Diversity & Inclusion

Recognizing the inequitable opportunities for low-income and working-class students; developing effective programs, support networks, and institutional investment.

Loan Borrowing & Student Debt

Exploring disparities in student borrowing and loan default rates for first-generation, low-income students; creating practices that better educate underserved students.

Financial Literacy

Understanding the lack of financial awareness for first-generation and low-income students; creating educational programming; establishing a “money smart” campus

First-Generation Graduate & Professional Students

Developing support programs for a growing population; identifying population-specific resources; building campus-wide partnerships.

Books, News, & Media

Book Chapters

  • Newlin, M. & Brown, A. (In press). First-generation students in service learning programs: An exploration of institutional support practices. In Bowhay, V. (Ed.), The proper role of higher education in a democratic society. IGI Global.
  • Dykema Erb, M., Newlin, M., & Wood, K. (In press). A DEI approach to graduate student access and outcomes. In Shepard, V. & Perry, A. (Eds.), A practitioner’s guide to supporting graduate and professional students. Routledge.

Featured Media

Past Speaking Engagements

  • Newlin, M. (January 2021). Invited Speaker. Geography and access: Rural student college enrollment. Missouri Higher Education Bridges to Success web series.
  • Newlin, M. (December 2020). Key Note Speaker. When equal isn’t equitable: Understanding students’ social capital. State Technical College of Missouri 2020 Professional Development Institute, Linn, MO.
  • Newlin, M., Garcia Peraza, P., & Wagner, L. (November 2020). Invited Speaker. Supporting first-gen graduate students in uncertain times. 2020 University of California System First-Generation Virtual Symposium.
  • Newlin, M. & Wyatt, C. (July 2020). Invited Speaker. Building a pipeline of rural higher education students: A discussion with practitioners. Hunt Institute & Illinois Lieutenant Governor’s Office.
  • Clency, S., Lowery, K., Newlin, M., & Wagner, L. (September 2020). Invited Speaker. Where are we now?: Supporting first-generation students through a national crisis. 2020 NASPA Virtual Conferences on Student Success in Higher Education.
  • Alderson, A., Erb, M., Jehangir, R., & Newlin, M. (June 2020). Invited Speaker for Pre-Conference Workshop. First-gen graduate and professional students: We’ve identified them, now how to we support them? 2020 NASPA Virtual Conferences on Student Success in Higher Education.
  • Newlin, M. & Seldin, A. (May 2020). Invited Speaker. Demystifying the FAFSA appeals process. ACT Equity webinar.
  • Clency, S., Lowery, K., Newlin, M., & Wagner, L. (March 2020). Invited Speaker. A critical response: Supporting first-generation students through a national crisis. Center for First-generation Student Success, 2020 NASPA Virtual Highlights.
  • Alderson, A., Erb, M., & Newlin, M. (December 2019). Invited Speaker. Creating support resources for first-generation graduate and professional students. Center for First-generation Student Success, Center Online Learning (Live Briefing), NASPA.
  • Newlin, M. & Tellin, J. (July 2018). Invited Speaker. Establishing partnerships for graduate and professional student financial literacy. FedLoan Training Webinar Series.

More About The Speaker

View Matt Newlin's website here.

View Matt Newlin's curriculum vitae here.

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