We initiated and funded the first-of-its-kind Single Stop USA Community College Initiative to expand opportunities for low-income, high-need community college students. As a result of our founding support at Kingsborough Community College, dropout rates among participants were reduced by 50%. Other foundations and the City of New York then adopted the program, and it is now available to eligible students across the City University of New York (CUNY) system.
More than half of low-income students begin their postsecondary education at a community college, and these institutions serve more than 12 million students each year. However, six years after starting at a two-year institution, nearly half of all students nationwide (46%) drop out without attaining a degree. Only 31% of community college students who set out to earn a degree ever complete it. These low retention and completion rates are not surprising given the many obstacles community college students confront.