Article: Strategies for Promoting College Completion in the Age of COVID-19

Posted by Spotlight on Poverty and Opportunity on July 21, 2020

COVID-19 threatens college completion for millions of students far beyond 2020. In this Spotlight Exclusive, Alexander Mayer and Alyssa Ratledge of MDRC explore the obstacles faced by potential college students when navigating higher education and outline strategies to support these students. The high cost of tuition and other related expenses, insufficient student advising, and lack of pre-college preparation are some of the most significant barriers, especially during the pandemic. However, higher education research has shown that developing a comprehensive approach to tackling these concerns can produce positive outcomes. Programs combining tuition coverage, additional financial support, and student services like proactive advising and instructional reforms provide students of all backgrounds with the opportunity to succeed in college. “We must prepare our institutions to meet students’ needs by combining financial supports with evidence-based student support strategies,” Mayer and Ratledge argue.

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