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Exploring remedial education and the City University of New York (CUNY) community college system
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A PATHWAY OUT OF POVERTY:
The "College Success" Prize is designed to empower students and arm them with the tools they need to graduate in a timely fashion (2-3 years).
With the ultimate goal of alleviating poverty, Robin Hood hopes to spur the development of an innovative, scalable and technology-enabled tool to improve the academic performance of underprepared college students.
Getting a college degree is more important than ever for future earnings. Low-income workers can greatly improve their likelihood of advancing to the middle class by attaining a college degree. In the United States, individuals with an associate degree will earn—on average— about $10,000 more per year than college dropouts.
In New York City, over 80% of incoming community college freshmen are required to take remedial courses before they can take college-level classes (despite having earned a high school diploma or equivalent certificate). And of those freshmen taking remedial classes, 75% will fail to earn their associates degree within six years.
HOW WILL IT WORK?
The competition is open to individuals and teams that develop scalable solutions that will help more community college students graduate within 2-3 years. Competitors may address whichever set of student skills they believe will produce the greatest success. These may include math, reading, or writing, as well as behavioral, non-cognitive or non-academic factors.
The Prize will reward successful interventions – such as smartphone apps, computer applications, and web-based tools—that are aimed at the individual student and will supplement existing curricula and supportive services such as tutoring.
The competition will launch in March 2014 and continue through October 2018.
ABOUT THE PRIZE:
The Prize is being designed by the behavioral design lab ideas42, using insights from social and behavioral science to inform the structure and goals of the competition. ideas42 will also provide resources and advice to contestants on how to further develop and improve their tech-based interventions with behavioral science.
Robin Hood will reward successful interventions—such as smartphone apps, computer applications, and web-based tools—that are aimed at the individual student and will supplement existing curricula and supportive services such as tutoring.
In the News
Paul Tough/New York Times Magazine
Who Gets to Graduate?
Kate Torgovnick May/TED.com
A $5 million challenge to help community college students graduate
Michael M. Weinstein/Forbes
Why We Must Prize Community College Success
Soterios Johnson / WNYC SchoolBook (2014)
Low Graduation Rates Inspire a High-Tech Prize
Ainsley O'Connell/Fast Company (2014)
Is The Startup Prize The New Startup Accelerator?
Evaluation begins and continues over the 2015-2018 academic years.
Intermediate award of $500,000 for 1-year retention will be announced.
Intermediate award of $1,000,000 for 2-year degree completion will be announced.
Grand prize winner of $3.5 million will be announced in October 2018 after 3-year degree completion results are calculated.