Low Income Students and College Completion

From Yesterday’s DC Summit on College Access:

 “Just because a school is wealthy and prestigious doesn’t mean they’ll do a good job with a low-income student,” says McGuire.

And just because hundreds of college leaders pledge to improve college completion rates doesn’t mean it will be easy to move the needle.

The issues that get between students and college degrees have never been more complex or expensive to resolve.

via Colleges pledge to graduate more low-income students | Marketplace.org.

For those of us working in colleges, we have a realistic fear that the focus on “big data” around  “on-time completion rates” means that we’ll be expected to collect and report less than useful “accountability” data rather than having more time to invest in mentoring, teaching, advising, and working with high school students to prepare them for college.

But there’s another elephant in this room around “on-time completion rates”: nearly all the students on my campus work many many hours and still take out loans to finish school.  Besides work cutting the time they have for classes each week, exhausted students hit the wall, get sick, and decide that they have to leave for at least a time.

“Complex and expensive” indeed.

But not rocket science.

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