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Increasing student success by helping more adults earn quality bachelor’s degrees also is essential to meeting the nation’s talent needs. This work is especially important at minority-serving institutions and regional colleges and universities, where students of color and adult students from low- and middle-income families are most likely to start their degrees. To reach the national attainment goal and state-specific goals, state leaders must focus on the 36 million people who have college experience but did not finish their degree programs. Bachelor’s-granting institutions must concentrate their efforts on strategies that will help these students re-enroll and complete their degrees. The focus of this effort is important not only through 2025 but also over the long term as the demand for talent surges ever higher.
Lumina’s work in this area will focus on helping at least 1 million more adults earn bachelor’s degrees than will be awarded based on current estimates. This work will be aligned with Lumina’s efforts to increase associate degree completion while also building stronger degree pathways and innovative learning models to assure continued progress after 2025. Strategies will aim to re-enroll students and scale efforts that lead to their success, ultimately eliminating racial and ethnic disparities in bachelor’s degree attainment.