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We Are Increasing College Graduation Rates in Arizona

College provides the skills and knowledge vital to success in today’s global economy—including the ability to create, innovate and think critically to solve complex challenges. People who earn a college degree are less likely to be unemployed. They have higher incomes over their lifetimes. They pay more taxes. Consequently, college graduates require fewer state-supported services. They save more for retirement. They even live longer.

College Success Arizona is increasing the number of postsecondary degrees in the state. Our scholarships give students who otherwise could not afford college a chance to go. Most of our scholars are first-generation college-going students, from Latino and low-income families. The professional mentoring supports we provide along with the scholarships are the key ingredient in helping our scholars persist in and graduate from college. In fact, our scholars graduate at twice the rate of other college-going students in the state.

Here are some key data points:

  • Across student cohorts dating back to 2005, College Success Arizona scholars have a 67 percent graduation rate, nearly twice the state average.
  • Our scholars have a freshman retention rate of 89 percent. Freshman retention is a key indicator of being on track for graduation.
  • Since 2007, our retention rate throughout college is 72 percent.
  • College Success Arizona has helped more than 1,300 high-potential, low-income students with mentoring and scholarship awards of $16.7 million.
  • College Success Arizona currently assists over 800 low-income college students across the state.
  • Scholarships are renewable for three years if the student meets all renewal criteria. Total awards are valued at up to $24,000.
  • Our applicants are identified through partnerships with nearly 40 college access and readiness programs throughout the state who focus on traditionally underserved students.
  • 70 percent of our students are first-generation college attendees, have significant financial need and are highly motivated to succeed in college.


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