Recently published research from our partners at the Wilson Sheehan Lab for Economic Opportunities (LEO) at the University of Notre Dame show that Stay the Course increases community college persistence and degree completion.                                                                                                                                                                                                                             

What’s Stay the Course?

Fewer than 40 percent of community college students obtain a degree within six years and students from low-income families are seven times more likely to drop out. CCFW partnered with LEO to create Stay the Course (STC), a research project to evaluate how case management can help low-income students persist in school and ultimately graduate, equipping them with credentials that increase earning power.

What are the results?

The working paper, recently published by the National Bureau of Economic Research shows that the students who participated in the full Stay the Course program were significantly more likely to stay enrolled and to graduate within six semesters. Results show Stay the Course was especially effective for females, increasing persistence in college by 36 percentage points, and degree completion by 32 percentage points.

Why Does it Matter?

A community college degree is a relatively low-cost investment with a high return. More students persisting in the attainment of these degrees holds the potential to move the needle on economic mobility.







“We are currently facing a completion crisis in the U.S. There is a real need for cost-effective interventions. Stay the Course is an example that has been shown to move the needle.” –  James X. Sullivan, Rev. Thomas J. McDonagh, C.S.C., Associate Professor of Economics, co-founder of LEO, and co-author of the NBER paper


Want to Learn More?

Check out the press release here.

Read what Robert Doar, Morgridge Fellow in Poverty Studies at the American Enterprise Institute, had to say about these results and the potential impact of poverty.

Check out this story from a Stay the Course student.