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The numbers are in on college completion

Christmas came early for those of you who’ve been waiting for more data on college completion rates.

The Department of Education just released a preliminary report that tells us what we already know: we have a national college completion problem. We’ve worked hard to encourage access and enrollment at postsecondary institutions – and more Americans than ever are attending school – but once students arrive, many leave before attaining their degree or take far longer to graduate than they should.

As you work through the numbers, here are just a few of the solutions the Education and Workforce Committee put forward this Congress to improve college completion and encourage institutions to give their students the very best chance at success:

  • The PROSPER Act offers a $300 bonus to Pell-eligible students who take 15 credits per semester in an award year to accelerate completion and reduce debt.

  • PROSPER requires institutions to have some skin in the game by shifting the burden of unearned aid off of students and onto institutions when a student withdraws before program completion.

  • The PROSPER Act picks up the pace on aid eligibility timeframes to ensure that students are able to complete their education on time and enter the workforce quickly.

  • PROSPER sets aside up to $150 million in Federal Work-Study dollars for institutions with strong Pell Grant recipient graduation rates or strong graduation rate improvement.

  • The PROSPER Act puts reasonable limits on annual and aggregate borrowing for graduate students to encourage timely completion.

  • PROSPER reserves 10 percent of TRIO funds for institution grants that support initiatives that improve completion.

To learn more about the PROSPER Act, click here.

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