Improving College Graduation Rates with Multifaceted Student Support Programs

Here’s What Institutions and State Agencies Need to Know

Across the country, postsecondary education leaders are striving to increase graduation rates. Among a variety of evidence-based strategies to boost those numbers, perhaps the most prominent are multifaceted student support programs. These programs use multiple components over two to three years to address students’ barriers to success. Multifaceted support programs have been proven to increase graduation rates. One notable example, the Accelerated Study in Associate Programs (ASAP) model, has been proven to nearly double graduation rates in multiple colleges across diverse states and for a variety of student populations.

This brief presents some important considerations for states looking to allocate funds to implement similar evidence-based programs. It summarizes the rationale underlying the programs themselves, the evidence from existing studies that shows what works, the state and institutional factors necessary for successful implementation, and advice on how to balance fidelity with local needs while measuring and ensuring positive impacts on graduation rates.

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Document Details

Publication Type
September 2021
Ratledge, Alyssa and Melissa Wavelet. 2021. “Improving College Graduation Rates with Multifaceted Student Support Programs.” New York: MDRC.