Across the Finish Line: Why College Completion Matters

Across the Finish Line: Why College Completion Matters

Event Contact

  • Emmi Navarro
  • Education Events & Partnerships Coordinator
  • [email protected]
  • We have a completion crisis in our nation’s higher education system, where colleges and universities graduate just over half of all of the students that they enroll—leaving a large proportion of students worse off than before they started. As a nation, we’ve made important strides in improving access and affordability in higher education, and an investment in completion is long overdue.

    To kick off our new event series: Across the Finish Line, Third Way was joined by a group of experts who tackled different aspects of college completion in mini TEDx-style talks. This included Jinann Bitar, Director of Research & Data Analytics at the Education Trust; Dr. Jennifer Brown, Vice Provost & Dean of Undergraduate Education, and Professor in the School of Public Policy at the University of California, Riverside; Tamara Hiler, Director of Education at Third Way; Dr. Kevin Miller, Associate Director of Higher Education at the Bipartisan Policy Center; and Dr. Sarah Reber, Visiting Fellow, The Brookings Institution.

    Sarah kicked off the conversation by providing the audience with an overview of the economics of completion. Then, Jennifer shared her own story and how it relates to the experiences many of her students face while discussing the barriers to completion. Jinann offered insight into some of the ways equity impacts degree completion, and Kevin explained why this is a bipartisan issue. Finally, Tamara brought us home by explaining what happens when students don’t finish their degree programs.