Wrap-Around Supports from One Million Degrees Increases 3 Year Associate's Degree Graduation Rate

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The University of Chicago Inclusive Economy Lab has released results of an eight year research partnership with One Million Degrees (OMD) that shows student’s chances of obtaining an associate degree within three years are significantly increased by comprehensive, wrap-around supports.

“Students may be raising kids, caring for family members, and working multiple jobs,” said OMD CEO Aneesh Sohoni. The results “affirm what we’ve always believed: community college students, no matter the challenges they may face, are capable of extraordinary things when surrounded by supportive relationships.”

OMD is a program in the Chicago area which provides wrap-around support services for students from low-income backgrounds. Students apply for the program and are randomly selected to participate.

The research showed that, while well-rounded supports increased a student’s likelihood of graduating within three years by 9%, students who were a part of OMD were 18% more likely to earn their associate degree within three years. Students benefit most from the type of supports OMD offers, like tutors, financial aid coaches, and professional development. Those OMD students who applied to join in their senior year of high school and were selected were 73% more likely than their peers to graduate in three years.

These results follow evidence released two years ago that show OMD students were 35% more likely to enroll full time and 47% more likely to persist in their first year.