Alert: Conference Call News Briefing on Dec. 9 at 11 a.m. EST/8 a.m. PST

Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation

Media Advisory
December 7, 2009

Alert: Conference Call News Briefing on Dec. 9 at 11 a.m. EST/8 a.m. PST

Only 1 in 5 Community College Students Graduate Within 3 Years
New research from Public Agenda explores why so many quit school

New York—On December 9, Public Agenda will release new national research revealing why so many young adults start college but never graduate. The report, “With Their Whole Lives Ahead of Them,” is based on a national survey of young adults and reveals the top challenges they faced while in college and what they say would have helped them graduate. Nationwide, less than half of all college students graduate within six years, according to the U.S. Department of Education. At community colleges, the numbers are more stark: nearly 80 percent of students do not graduate within three years.

Last February, President Obama set a goal to again make America first in the world in the percentage of adults with a postsecondary credential, citing the goal as a necessary step in restoring the nation’s economic competitiveness. “With Their Whole Lives Ahead of Them” provides insight into the lives of today’s college students, and identifies solutions that could help solve the nation’s college completion problem.

The research was supported by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation as part of its efforts to ensure that all young people in the United States have the opportunity to earn a degree beyond high school and compete in today’s global economy.

Media briefing conference call to discuss new research on why young adults do not complete college

Jean Johnson, Executive Vice President, Public Agenda
Ian Rowe, Deputy Director, US Program, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation
Frankie Barria, a former student who will speak about juggling work and school

Please RSVP for this briefing – Space is limited
Dial In: 888-820-9410
** Contact Susie Rantz at 206-694-0016 or to secure placement on the call**

Wednesday, December 9, 2009
11:00 a.m. EST (8:00 a.m. PST)