With the right support at the right time, we can give every student the opportunity to graduate from college. That’s why Dell Scholars, a college completion and scholarship program of the Michael & Susan Dell Foundation, was created to support students from low-income families who are often the first in their families to attend college. With a degree in hand, Dell Scholars are empowered to create change in their own lives, families, and communities, and with this mission at its heart, the program is committed to helping them reach graduation day.
The Dell Scholars support model was designed to help students navigate the personal and academic challenges that can throw them off track. Scholars turn to the program as a support system, sometimes the only one they’ve got. At its core, this work is about understanding the unique journey of each and every student – and with an additional 500 Dell Scholars each year and a team of only three retention officers, technology is what makes it possible.
Enter GradSnapp. By providing timely and actionable information on each student, GradSnapp helps retention officers determine where personal interventions can have the greatest impact so they can work where they’re needed most. This is creating real change in students’ lives. With the recent announcement of the 16th class of Dell Scholars, the program also celebrated its graduation rate of 80 percent within six years – four times the national average for students from a similar socioeconomic background.
That’s four times more diplomas framed proudly on the wall. Four times the number of children watching their parents and siblings cross the graduation stage, imagining a new possibility for their own futures. And four times the number of families with a pathway out of poverty and the tools to build a brighter tomorrow.
After seeing the kind of transformational change made possible through Dell Scholars, we knew this technology could make a difference for other organizations supporting students to college graduation. In 2013, GradSnapp launched a pilot program with a few charter school partners to find out if our approach could help manage the exponential growth in the number of college-bound students that some programs are experiencing, while putting those students on the path towards a degree.
The goal of this pilot program with YES Prep Public Schools, Mastery Charter Schools, and Cristo Rey Network was to implement the Dell Scholars approach and technology within the framework of their college completion goals and program-specific needs. Together, these schools were supporting more than 12,000 college-attending students, a number that would nearly double in the following year. The scale of these partnerships was an exciting reminder that by working together, we can achieve change at scale, impacting even more lives, families, and communities across the country.
After more than a decade battle-testing and refining this technology, we have made it available so other college persistence programs can better and more efficiently support students through college. Today, GradSnapp is proud to partner with over 45 organizations including scholarship providers, charter schools, and college-completion nonprofits, helping more than 30,000 students navigate the path to graduation.
The more pathways we can clear for students, the more students will graduate with a college degree. I think we can all agree that acceptance letters are great, but diplomas are better. Learn how GradSnapp can help support your own students. Set up a demo to see GradSnapp in action!