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Finalists Announced for $1M Aspen Prize

Ten finalists have been named and are still in the running for the Aspen Institute’s 2025 Aspen Prize for Community College Excellence.

Josh WynerJosh Wyner“The 10 Aspen Prize finalists demonstrate how community colleges serving urban and rural communities throughout the country can prepare many more graduates for fulfilling lives and careers in their communities,” said Josh Wyner, executive director of the Aspen Institute College Excellence Program. “They show that excellence can be reached in any and every context.”

The biennial prize, which comes with $1 million award, recognizes strong performance among community colleges. It is bestowed upon the institution that demonstrates high and improving levels of student success with equitable outcomes for Black and Hispanic students and those from low-income backgrounds — one of the recognition’s six areas of critique. The other areas comprise teaching and learning, certificate and degree completion, transfer and bachelor’s attainment, workforce success, and broad access to the college.

A winner among the following finalists will be announced April 17, 2025: Georgia Highlands College, Georgia; Moorpark College, California; Northeast Wisconsin Technical College, Wisconsin; Northwest Vista College, Texas; San Jacinto College, Texas; Seminole State College of Florida; South Puget Sound Community College, Washington; Southwest Wisconsin Technical College, Wisconsin; UCNJ Union College of Union County, New Jersey; and Wallace State Community College-Hanceville, Alabama.

The institute plans to conduct multi-day in-person site visits to each finalist institution this fall to gather additional information, including extensive employment and earnings data on graduates.

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