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ERIC Number: ED527059
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2011-Oct
Pages: 6
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 0
Crossing the Finish Line: A National Effort to Address Near Completion
Institute for Higher Education Policy
The success of America's economy depends on a dramatic increase in the number and diversity of people who complete college with a high-quality credential. To meet this goal, the Institute for Higher Education Policy (IHEP) is leading a national effort to increase support for students who left higher education without a degree but are eligible for or just shy of one. Much of the federal, state, and philanthropic effort to raise completion rates has focused on increasing the number of students who are college ready, bolstering support for students who successfully access college and equipping adults who seek new skills with pathways to quality degrees and credentials with labor market value. However, equal attention must be paid to students who have invested substantial resources in seeking a college credential, either at the associate's or bachelor's levels, but have left within striking distance of that degree. IHEP refers to this phenomenon as "near completion". The goal of this brief is to help elevate the concept of near completion and to highlight ways in which institutions serving these students, as well as policymakers, researchers, and employers, can reengage and graduate this population. The brief first defines near completers and, based on conversations with a range of key college completion stakeholders, offers a framework for addressing near completion. Next, the brief highlights some regional and national efforts that are targeting near completers and some of the early findings from this work. The concluding section offers strategies that higher education leaders and other interested stakeholders can use right now to move the needle on college completion for these students. (Contains 1 figure.)
Institute for Higher Education Policy. 1320 19th Street NW Suite 400, Washington, DC 20036. Tel: 202-861-8223; Fax: 202-861-9307; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: Researchers; Policymakers
Language: English
Sponsor: Carnegie Corporation of New York
Authoring Institution: Institute for Higher Education Policy