On Tuesday, March 22, Vice President Joe Biden unveiled a 23-page “toolkit” (PDF) of seven low- or no-cost policies governors can employ to improve college completion rates, along with state targets (PDF) for meeting President Obama’s 2020 goal of having the highest proportion of college graduates in the world by 2020. The toolkit includes recommendations to set state college completion goals, embrace performance funding and reach out to adults who have completed some college credits but who have not yet obtained a degree. The vice president also called on each governor to host a college completion summit and announced a $20 million grant program under the Fund for the Improvement of Postsecondary Education (FIPSE)’s Comprehensive Program for states seeking to improve college success and productivity.
In addition, the Obama administration’s FY2012 budget proposal (PDF) includes a $123 million “First in the World” incentive for programs that contain tuition, improve college completion rates and help students complete college in a timely manner. The budget proposal also recommends a $50 million College Completion Incentive Grant program that would fund states and schools for systemic reforms that generate better student outcomes. Congress will consider this request as part of the FY2012 budget process.