Some colleges are now offering students who dropped out of college a degree.
Project Win-Win, an effort by the Institute for Higher Education Policy[i] and the State Higher Education Executive Officers Association[ii], tracks down former students who left school without any degree and never went back to college anywhere. Some are found to qualify for an associate’s degree.
The schools enrolled in Project Win-Win have been contacting those students to see if they are interested in being awarded the degree retroactively.
A recent Wall Street Journal story reported that 4,550 students of about 6,700 contacted have been awarded associate’s degrees thanks to Project Win-Win[iii].
The colleges also win because these degrees improve their graduation rates.
About 20,000 former students have been found to be within 12 credits of an associate’s degree. They are seen as “potential completers,” and colleges are attempting to bring those students back to school to complete their degree.
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Sixty-four colleges in New York, Ohio, Florida, Louisiana, Michigan, Missouri, Oregon, Virginia, and Wisconsin are participating in Project Win-Win. Funding is provided by the Lumina Foundation[iv] and, in Michigan, by the Kresge Foundation[v].