This pledge closed about 3 years ago
Right now—right here in America—only 5.9% of African Americans and 3.1% of Hispanics complete a bachelor's degree in six years.In community college where larger percentages of nontraditional, low-income, and minority students are enrolled, research shows that lack of finances, part-time attendance and responsibility for dependents are among the major "risk factors" associated with low persistence and completion rates.Conversely, there is no question that a quality, affordable education is still the best path to socio-economic empowerment and long-term generational growth. Individuals who earn a bachelor's degree earn roughly $1.1 million more than someone with an associate's degree and $1.6 million more than a high school graduate.In response to these staggering figures Governors State University has established a $1 million dollar endowment fund—the GSU Promise—to provide debt-free bachelor's degrees for community college transfer students.Through GSU's award winning Dual Degree Program community college transfers are eligible to lock-in guaranteed tuition rates and receive academic, career and financial-aid advising that keeps them on track to graduate in four years.GSU's impressive track record really speaks for itself. With a 46% minority population, undergraduate graduation rates are 49.2% for African Americas and 56.8% for Hispanics, however there is much work to be done.This fall GSU will host its inaugural celebration The Promise Fest, a 100% student produced comedy show with other events to raise awareness and support for the GSU Promise. As an originator of the event, a student who will soon push the GSU African American graduation rate to 50%, and a community college graduate, I ask that you help me leave a legacy for my successors to carry on.