Georgia State University has reinvented itself.
“By focusing on retaining low-income students, rather than just enrolling them, the college raised its graduation rate to 54 percent from 32 percent in 2003,” according to a recent New York Times article. “And for the last five years, it has awarded more bachelor’s degrees to African-Americans…than any other nonprofit college or university in the country.”
Officials from the university — a NACAC member institution — say data analysis and targeted supports have helped boost student success. Advisers monitor the daily progress of the school’s 40,000 undergrads and act quickly to provide assistance at the first sign that a student is struggling.
Summer sessions to help acquaint at-risk students with the college’s tutoring, advising, and financial literacy programs have also proven beneficial.
“To prevent dropouts, Georgia State has developed a series of linked programs meant to provide the kind of safety net for poor students that wealthier students usually get from their families,” the article notes. “For example, in 2011 the administration began disbursing microgrants of a few hundred dollars at a time to help students deal with unpaid tuition and fee balances.”
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