Our mission is opportunity. Our goal is to graduate all of our students on time. We do this with a data-driven approach to tackle the problem, come up with solutions, and provide an opportunity for a better future.

THE PROBLEM: IN MICHIGAN, ABOUT 40% OF WHITE STUDENTS DO NOT FINISH COLLEGE & 63% OF BLACK STUDENTS DO NOT GRADUATE IN 6 YEARS.

  • Michigan must tackle its college graduation problem early by helping new students prepare for college and then cross the finish line.
  • Importantly, only 6% of Black and economically disadvantaged students finish high school considered college ready.
  • Approximately 1.2 million Michigan residents have some college credits/education, but they lack a degree, equating to about $600,000 lifetime lost income per person.
  • Likelihood of re-enrolling in college after already having dropped out is only 30%.

THE SOLUTION: COLLEGE GRADUATION IN 4 YEARS THROUGH MENTORING, INCENTIVES & ELIMINATING HISTORICAL TENDENCY TO DROPOUT BEFORE THE COMPLETION OF A DEGREE

  • Across Metro Detroit, students will be selected while in high school, where mentors will work with students to complete college applications and apply for FAFSA aid.
  • Students will be matched with mentors for 1 year, repeated each year for 5 years.
  • Students will receive mental health support, tutoring support, and start the program with a new laptop, tablet and printer to support their path to earning a degree.
  • Students will receive: $500 at high school graduation, $500 per college semester, $500 after each completed year of college, and $1,000 upon graduation in 4 years.

OUR APPROACH

MENTORING & TUTORING

  • Starting in high school, mentors will be matched with students to¬†develop a plan early for college.
  • Mentors will work with students on a regular basis, helping them coordinate and time manage college life and stay motivated.
  • Students will receive 4 years of 1-on-1 tutoring. Research shows tutoring increases reenrollment to the next semester by about 20%.

PERFORMANCE INCENTIVES

  • $500 will be provided to students as incentive for graduating high school and enrolling in college.
  • In college, students will receive $500 at the start of their semester and an additional $500 for each additional semester for 4 years.
  • Upon graduation, students will receive an additional $1,000 and access to job shadowing through innovative firms in Metro Detroit.

LIFE-CHANGING OUTCOMES

  • A lost degree means $600,000 lost lifetime income, and currently half of all students are not finishing college.
  • By reducing the rate of dropouts, the program will not only impact current students but also the chance of success for future generations.
  • By increasing the graduation rate from less than 40% to 100%, the program will serve as model how to change life outcomes in Detroit.

GOAL: GRADUATING 100% OF STUDENTS