Insights & News

Our Low-income Scholars’ 6-year Grad Rates Rival General UC & CSU Student Populations


Student Data Analysis Highlights AY2015-2016

Over the past 10 years, College Futures Foundation—formerly called College Access Foundation of California—has provided $100 million in scholarships to more than 20,000 low-income students across the state.

Since 2008, we have collected data related to our scholarship students’ college trajectories and outcomes. The practice has given us deeper insight into our scholars’ experiences as they work towards their degrees, and the lessons we have learned have guided a new chapter of our work—one focused on ensuring that all California students have the opportunity to attend and succeed in college.

We now have—and are excited to share—six-year graduation rates for our class of 2009 scholars. In essence, the data show that our students, who are among the most disadvantaged and low-income in the state, are matching six-year graduation rates for the general student populations at the UC and CSU.

Here are highlights from our academic year 2015-2016 student data analysis:

Who We Serve

  • Since 2008, our scholars have been among the most disadvantaged and low-income students in the state. The large majority of our scholars are Pell-eligible and first-generation college-going.
  • Compared to other high school graduates in California, our scholar pool has almost 10% more Hispanic/Latino students and twice as many African American students.

Our Scholars’ 6-year Graduation Rates

  • After 6 years, 54% of our Class of 2009 students have earned their bachelor’s degrees by their 6th year and another 14% have been consistently enrolling every fall since they started in 2009.
  • After 6 years, UC graduation rates for all students is 84%; our scholarship recipients are at 83%. For CSU, it’s 57%; for our scholars, 56%. Our students are performing on par with the general student body for these segments.
  • Students who start at a California Community College have a 21% graduation rate for baccalaureate degrees. Although this number is low, it is much higher than the 15% national percentage. However, 22% of our students are still enrolled after 6 years—one reason we are focused on improving student transitions along the pipeline to degree.
  • Our California Community College scholars not only complete bachelor’s degrees at a greater rate than the 15% national average, 61% of our students have either graduated with an AA, a BA, or are still working to complete.

Our Scholars’ Financial Aid Uptake

  • On the financial aid uptake front, we’ve seen a great success story. When we learned that Cal Grant uptake was low in 2010, we concentrated efforts on making sure students who were eligible to receive their Cal Grants received them. Since then, we’ve gone from a 60% Foundation uptake to now 82%.
  • In addition, we’ve seen that Cal Grant uptake rates vary by institution. We have supported community foundations and other community partners to help students learn about, apply for, and receive the financial aid they need for college access and success.

Click here to view more from our academic year 2015-16 student data analysis.