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“Lighting the Path” to Promote Equity in Postsecondary Attainment by Identifying Barriers to Completion and Reengaging Stopped-Out Students


Higher education is the surest pathway to a better living and a better life. Yet, the goal of a valuable college credential goes unrealized for too many students, especially students of color and students from low-income backgrounds. Today, more than 36 million Americans have some college credit, but no awarded degree and, the COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted the studies of even more students, deepening inequities that already are pervasive.

Lighting the Path shares key findings from Degrees When Due, a nationwide completion initiative to reengage students and build institutional capacity. The report sets forth key findings on barriers to reenrollment, persistence, and completion; outlines strategies to best support returning students; and offers recommendations for policymakers at every level—institutional, state, and federal—to promote equitable degree completion.

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