Naomi Schaefer Riley’s review of David Kirp’s “The College Dropout Scandal” (Bookshelf, July 30) shines a light on the need to increase college graduation rates. It isn’t easy. Students face a broad array of challenges in completing their degree. Sixty percent of today’s students are working-learners, one in four are parents and nearly 40% are low-income students receiving Pell Grants. They have a different set of needs than students did generations ago. Still, institutions must help students succeed. Years ago, institutions focused on increasing college access. But institutions recognize it isn’t enough to enroll more students; they must graduate them. Last year, 130 public universities and systems banded together to do exactly that. The schools are working within “transformation clusters” tackling different pieces of the student success puzzle. The effort, known as Powered by Publics, is aiming to increase college access, eliminate the achievement gap and award hundreds of thousands more degrees by 2025.
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