The Power of Pooled Funding to Increase College Graduation Rates in New York City

Posted by Graduate NYC on April 16, 2018

Graduate NYC (GNYC) is a citywide initiative dedicated to significantly increasing college completion rates throughout New York City. GNYC is the product of the partnership between the New York City Department of Education (NYC DOE), The City University of New York (CUNY), and the Office of the Mayor, and was launched in 2010 with support from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

CUNY and the NYC DOE—the two largest education systems of their kind in the country— are deeply connected by the students they serve.

  • Each year, the NYC DOE educates 1.1 million students (most of whom are low income and minorities) in approximately 1,800 schools throughout the five boroughs of New York City
  • Nearly 60% of NYC DOE graduates who go to college attend a CUNY college
  • Seventy-eight percent of first-time freshmen at CUNY are graduates of NYC DOE schools
  • CUNY serves approximately 270,000 degree-seeking students across 24 schools and colleges

Improving college completion rates in New York City requires the NYC DOE and CUNY to work together and in cooperation with community-based organizations (CBOs) and other city agencies. Given GNYC’s position at the crossroads of the NYC DOE and CUNY, and its deep relationships with CBOs across the city, it is ideally situated to bolster the collaborative work between the two institutions and to engage external partners to increase student success. GNYC’s work is based on the belief that a college degree can be a driver of social mobility and financial stability, particularly for low-income young people. The College Completion Innovation Fund (CCIF) is the first collaborative fund focused exclusively on college retention and completion in New York City. It brings together a diverse group of philanthropic, education, and nonprofit organizations to test promising practices for increasing college completion rates.

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