Matt Newlin, Ed.D.

Founder and Principal, Matt Newlin Consulting

Bio: Matt Newlin

Matt Newlin, Ed.D. is a proud first-generation graduate from a low-income, working class background who has been working to advocate for postsecondary equity for over 17 years. Dr. Newlin is the founder and principal of Matt Newlin Consulting, which partners with institutions and organizations to advance postsecondary equity and access for first-generation, low-income, and rural students. Additionally, Dr. Newlin is an adjunct faculty member in the counselor education program at East Carolina University and a dissertation advisor at Gwynedd Mercy University. He is also the creator and host of the Rural College Student Experience podcast, which is currently in its third season. 

In the past, he has served as director of rural initiatives with College Advising Corps (CAC), where he worked to increase postsecondary enrollment for students from rural and small-town communities. Prior to CAC, Dr. Newlin 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, he 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 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 an Ed.D. in higher education leadership from Maryville University, an M.Ed. in higher education from the University of Missouri–St. Louis, and two B.A. degrees (communication and english) from the University of Missouri–Columbia. He lives in St. Louis, Missouri, with his wife and two amazing dogs.

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

Peer-reviewed Journal Articles

  • Crain, A. & Newlin, M. (2020). Rural first-generation students: A practical reflection on urbanormative ideology. Journal of First-generation Student Success, 1(1), 57-69.

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

Invited Speaking Engagements

  • Daugherty, L., Newlin, M., & Swords Kalk, M. (2022). Collectively designing a rural education community of practice. Presented for the Rural College Access and Success Summit.
  • Newlin, M. (2022). Working with first-generation students and students in rural communities. Presented for Missouri Association of College Admissions Counseling.
  • Newlin, M. (2022). Host/Emcee for 2022 Equity Summit presented by Missouri Department of Higher Education and Workforce Development.
  • Newlin, M. (2021). First-generation students and campus employment. Presented for National Student Employment Association 2021 Virtual National Conference.
  • Sweeten-Lopez, O., Moseley, J., & Newlin, M. (2021). Minimizing pandemic disruptions to higher education enrollment. Moderated for Hunt Institute Missouri Legislators Retreat, Jefferson City, Missouri.
  • Newlin, M. (2021). Not a monolith: Exploring the identities of first-generation rural students. Presented for Class Action First Gen Virtual Summit.
  • Copeland, K., Diskin, B., Findley, M., Mitchell, A., Moore, R., & Newlin, M. (2021). Financial aid experts panel. Participant for 2021 Equity in Missouri Higher Education Virtual Summit.
  • 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). Keynote 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 do 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.

More About The Speaker

View Matt Newlin's website here.

View Matt Newlin's curriculum vitae here.

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