Access to college is only half the problem

Stefanie Botelho's picture

With President Obama calling for greater access to college, it is more important than ever for the public to understand that the issue is not just getting student into college, but keeping them there.

In a recent article in the New York Times, David L. Krip, professor of public policy at the University of California, Berkeley, discussed the Accelerated Study in Associate Program (ASAP) at the City University of New York (CUNY). Designed for community college students, it provides a package of comprehensive financial resources, student support systems, and a variety of other personalized approaches that are designed to increase student retention. Without ASAP, only 27 percent of CUNY students graduate on time.

For those of us who have been involved in higher education for many years, we find this revelation hardly surprising. Faculty and administrators at America’s colleges and universities understand that students will graduate at a much higher rate if professors and staff take an interest in them.

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