Series by Third Way and AEI Sheds Light on College Completion

June 5, 2018

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Title: Elevating College Completion

Author: Third Way & AEI

Date: May 30, 2018

Elevating College Completion is a recently released series by Third Way and AEI that aims to inform readers about how many students who enter undergraduate programs end up completing their degree. It examines some potential policy tools that could be used to incentivize institutions to take steps to increase their completion rates.

Matthew Chingos’ report focuses on the importance of academic preparation on college completion.

Bridget Terry Long presents evidence that shows that the cost for non-completers is much more than just foregone earnings and opportunities, since in most cases, non-completers have to bear financial obligations from their studies without having the credential that can unlock higher-paying jobs to meet that obligation.

Mark Schneider and Kim Clark’s report examines the potential of certain practices on increasing completion, including: providing more seats for historically disadvantaged students; providing comprehensive support for all students, but especially those who face financial or academic challenges; providing completion or emergency grants; using newer and better data-gathering and analysis techniques to guide students; and using evidence-based teaching methods.

Mesmin Destin’s research introduces how institutions can leverage psychological factors in order to improve student outcomes, including how to strategically motivate and engage students who are most at risk of non-completion.

Finally, Sarah Turner concludes that money matters, and explores how both federal and state policies could be modified to increase institutional incentives to raise graduation rates.

For more information, read the series here.

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