Another good resource: Individual Development Accounts from the United Way
The Dothan Eagle reports that many students in our state university system take more than 6 years to graduate. The story is in response to Promoting a Culture of Student Success: How Colleges and Universities Are Improving Degree Completion (PDF), which has some troubling findings:
“Fewer than one-third of degree-seeking, full-time freshmen in public four-year institutions graduate in four years. Most students who enter college as first-time, full-time freshmen take at least six years to earn a bachelor’s degree — and only 55 percent graduate in that time span…students from disadvantaged economic backgrounds or with low SAT/ACT scores are even less likely to complete bachelor’s degrees than their classmates.”
The report notes than many institutions have already implemented evidence-based programs that have successfully increased student retention, including:
Many of the Alabama Poverty Project’s 23 Higher Education Partners already embrace these strategies and are building learning communities, promoting service-learning and civic engagement, and providing supplemental academic programs for developmental students. Evidence shows that service-learning programs and learning communities increase student success and engage students in finding solutions to systemic poverty in Alabama.
What can you do to help more Alabama students finish college?
Posted by Robyn Hyden
Americorps VISTA is another program that can help you fund your education. After a year of service to your community, receive a $5,350 education award to be used for existing student debt or future college expenses. Many institutions will match your higher education award, increasing your scholarship potential to over $10,000. During your year of service, you will also receive a small living stipend and other benefits. See VISTA positions open with the Alabama Poverty Project.