How is DPCR’s Graduate Success Program different from other schools’ alumni programs?
- At most schools, the alumni program’s goal is to keep graduates engaged as informal school ambassadors, volunteers and as current and future donors.
- DPCR’s Graduate Success Program is focused on supporting our alumni to college graduation. This support extends to those currently enrolled in college, those who didn’t immediately enroll in college after their DPCR graduation, or those who enrolled but left college before achieving a degree.
Why does DPCR’s program have this different focus?
- DPCR’s mission is to serve students of limited economic means, preparing them for college through our academic and Corporate Work Study programs.
- We’re meeting that goal with six straight years of 100 percent college acceptance of every senior ahead of graduation.
- However, it is also part of our stated mission to ensure our graduates complete college.
What barriers get in the way of DPCR graduates completing college?
- DPCR graduates frequently encounter the same challenges that are common among first-generation and/or low-income college students.
- These include a lack of financial resources, limited family support, and lack of access to other resources and support systems.
Are these challenges to college completion unique to DPCR graduates?
- College completion is a challenge for low-income and first-generation college students across the country.
- Nationally only 11 percent of low-income students will graduate within six years of starting college.
- This compares to the overall national college completion average of 58 percent.
So what is the Graduate Success Program doing to address this?
- DPCR’s program has a full-time Graduate Success Director who works exclusively with alumni to support them through college.
- Since financial challenges are the greatest barrier to college graduation, our program is supported by our Graduate Success Fund which provides microgrants to alumni.
- These are small grants to help college-enrolled alumni pay a variety of bills or fees. These can include lab fees, room and board expenses, transportation support, and tuition gaps left after all financial aid has been applied.
- The majority of microgrants have been for tuition.
How much money has been given out in grants?
- The Graduate Success Fund disbursed $68,000 in grants to DPCR alumni in 2018-19.
- That was almost a 40% increase in grants from the previous year.
- As our alumni pool increases with each graduation, so does the need for additional grant funding.
Why are you initiating a separate fundraising campaign for the Graduate Success Fund?
The Graduate Success Campaign will enable us to secure the fund as a permanent, sustainable source of alumni support.