A  $5 MILLION  prize competition to find scalable technology solutions to help more students stay on track to a timely graduation.


#RHPRIZE | LInkedin Group


The winners of the prize competition will ultimately be determined in a three- year randomized, controlled trial (RCT) conducted with first-time, full-time, freshmen with one or more remedial needs at the City University of New York (CUNY) from 2015 to 2018.

After each year of the RCT, the evaluation team will report results and award winning teams.

Winning thresholds:

  • After the 2015-2016 school year, a total of $500,000 will be awarded to any team or teams that increase year-over-year full-time student persistence relative to the control group by a difference of 10 percentage points.

  • After the 2016-2017 school year, a total of $1 million will be awarded to any team or teams that achieve a 5 percentage point increase in the number of students who complete their associate degree within 2 academic years relative to the control group.

  • Finally, the grand prize of $3.5 million, or up to $5 million with any rollover from the intermediate awards, will be awarded the team or teams that raise three year completion rates 15 percentage points relative to the control group.


Breaking ties:

With all the awards, if more than one intervention demonstrates an impact beyond the threshold, those interventions will be evaluated against each other, and ties will be broken if the impact of one of the successful interventions is statistically significantly greater than the other(s).

Sample size:

The sample size for each intervention is approximately 500 students, so that the total sample is roughly 1,500 students, including a control group. As such, at the time of the finalist evaluation, each finalist intervention must be able to scale their technology to at least 500 students for the duration of the three years (while staying under marginal cost restrictions for each student). 


A randomized, controlled trial is an experimental design in which participants are randomly assigned to a treatment or control group, with only the former receiving the intervention. Outcomes of the two groups are compared in order to determine the impact of the intervention.

Statistically significant means that the difference between groups are unlikely to be due to chance. For the purposes of the competition, we will use conventional levels of statistical significance: a 5 percent or smaller probability of differences due to chance.