Universities Try New Way To Boost Graduation Rates

Maribel Ojeda, Reporter

Many public universities are taking part in a newer program to provide small-dollar grants to help out low income students finish college. The program is a collaboration between Temple University and the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities and will use an approximate $4 million grant from the Education Department to build out and examine completion aid programs at up to 10 universities.

Multiple schools across the country have experimented with many ways to prevent students from dropping out or taking longer to graduate when money becomes an issue. Although these grants are barely a decade old, they’ve had significant results. The graduation rates from Georgia State University’s students who got the grants was 134 percent higher two terms after the grant compared to other students who received no assistance.

Students that received the grants/completion aid from Indiana University and Purdue University Indianapolis were 44 percent more likely to get their degree within a year compared to those who didn’t receive aid. “At a time when the price of college is higher than ever, it’s exciting to see universities seeking new ways to help students,” said Sara Goldrick-Rab, a project coordinator and professor of higher education policy and sociology at Temple. “This is a partnership to support their efforts and figure out if they are effective.”