Administration Offers States 'Toolkit' and Grants to Increase Completion Rates

March 22, 2011

WASHINGTON -- Vice President Biden will today urge every state's governor to produce a plan to increase college completion, and announce a set of resources (though no new money) designed to help them do that. The announcement, which will come at an education summit here, includes the release of a new “college completion toolkit,” which lays out for states and governors a set of "no-cost or low-cost" programs that some of their peers have used to improve student persistence, increase the productivity of public colleges, or otherwise help states contribute to President Obama's much-touted goal of giving the U.S. the highest proportion of college graduates in the world by 2020. The vice president's announcement also discusses a new grant program within the current budget of the Fund for the Improvement of Postsecondary Education and two proposed programs that are contained in the Obama administration's 2012 budget, all of which are designed to reward institutions that increase completion rates. The Department of Education also announced a state-by-state outline of how much each state has to increase its graduation rate to further the administration’s goals. For most states, that will mean increasing their graduation rates by about 50 percent by 2020. “Right now we’ve got an education system that works like a funnel when we need it to work like a pipeline,” Biden said in a press release. “We have to make the same commitment to getting folks across the graduation stage that we did to getting them into the registrar’s office.”

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