College Success Grant

More students are entering college than ever before, but many—particularly students from traditionally underserved backgrounds—face unique obstacles that prevent them from completing their studies. As a result, college completion rates have not increased at the same rate as college enrollment.

College Success grants provide resources to allow institutions to identify at-risk students and connect them with services that will help them complete the credits they attempt, and earn the grades necessary to position themselves for a successful college career.

Status

The 2014-2015 grant year is underway. Nineteen colleges are using $2.7 million in grant funding to step up efforts to identify struggling freshman and connect them to support services to improve academic outcomes and program persistence. In early 2015, these colleges will file interim reports on their results to date. We're eager to learn about how the early interventions funded under our grant are impacting students.

Each new grant we make builds on what we learn from earlier grants. Therefore, we will be applying what we learn from the interim reports of current grantees before we formulate and announce another College Success grant.

Issue

Far too many college students are starting their college career off on the wrong foot—on a path that isn't headed toward graduation. This is especially true for students from low-income backgrounds and students of color. Our goal is to identify these students early, so that colleges can step in with services like tutoring, academic advising, personal counseling, mentoring programs, and career counseling before students earn low grades, drop classes, or leave college altogether.

Many institutions have—and our previous College Success grants have funded—a number of student success programs that provide at-risk students special tutoring, academic advising and counseling, and other support services throughout the school year. These services are proving to make a real difference keeping participating students on the path toward graduation.

Our 2014-2015 College Success grants address another, related problem: When formal college success programs like the ones we've funded in the past are able to serve only a fraction of the underrepresented students who struggle during their first year on campus, how can we help colleges address the needs of at-risk students outside of these formal programs?

Solution

We want to increase the number of at-risk college freshmen who complete the credits they attempt during their first year in college, and earn the grades necessary to position themselves for a successful college career.

Colleges have services that have proven effective in helping participating students stay in school, earn the grades they need, and graduate. But these services are helping only a small percentage of the students who need them.

That's where we can help. Our 2014-2015 College Success grants provide funding to colleges with the ability and initiative to identify at-risk freshmen who exhibit warning signs early in the semester, so they can connect them with the services that will help them complete the credits they attempt during their first year of college, and earn the grades necessary to position themselves for a successful college career.

Questions

Contact Ben Dobner, Director-Education Grantmaking, at bdobner@glhec.org or (800) 345-5815.