Are public dollars accessible for pay-for-success programs that promote college persistence?


We initiated and funded the first “pay for success” college persistence program in New York which involves Bottom Line and Lehman College. Bottom Line is providing college persistence services at Lehman College and, if certain benchmarks are reached, Lehman and the Office of the Mayor of New York City have agreed to pay part of the costs of the services. The goal is to replicate this cost-sharing model with other college partners to ensure sustainability, and to increase student reach while maintaining high-quality services. Bottom Line fills a gaping hole in the suite of college-focused programs in New York City by focusing on successful college completion in addition to college access support for mid-achieving students who are not necessarily accessing top-tier institutions. These students are realizing exceptional college persistence rates thanks to Bottom Line’s hands-on guidance at its 21 partner colleges in or near New York City. Nationally, Bottom Line has achieved a historic college graduation rate of 79% and the program is on track to replicate that success in New York.

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