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Governors Lead on Improving College Completion


An increase in college attendance has a clear effect on not only the lifetime earnings, but also the economic returns to state.

Amanda Winters and Jack Porter

Biden presented a new program for the state to support efforts that aim at increasing retention and graduation in postsecondary education. The “Retention and Completion Program” would have funded state-led efforts to implement evidence-based strategies such as comprehensive academic advising and emergency financial aid to improve student outcomes. The Retention and Completion Program was not enacted at federal level. However, governors have taken initiative and started their own efforts to increase college completion and retention in their respective states.

In his 2022 State of the State address, Governor Dan McKee unveiled a proposal to establish the “Rhode Island Higher Education Academy,” which would provide Rhode Islanders with similar support and wraparound services to those included in the proposed federal program.

“We must meet Rhode Islanders where they are, and help give them the personalized, hands-on help they need to earn their credentials from our colleges and universities. The Academy will assist our state in getting more people back into work, and will also help us to fill jobs that are not only…

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