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EAW student employees at Mount St. Joseph University working in the BPO space

Increase Access and Retention

Why universities are choosing to partner with Education at Work

Nationwide, colleges and universities are in the spotlight to address the issues affecting graduation rates, retention, and student loan debt. Here is the reality:

  • With many college students dropping out due to unmet financial need, the average university’s first-year retention rate is 72%.
  • 59% of college students graduate within a six year time-span leaving 41% of students with the need for additional funds and time to finish their degrees.
  • The average graduate leaves school with $30,000 of student debt. According to the USAFunds 40/50 initiative, forty percent of students start but do not finish postsecondary education. Fifty percent of students are underemployed or unemployed following graduation or would have selected a different postsecondary program if they had to do it all over again.
  • Nearly 67% percent of employers say that graduates are unprepared and lack the skills in communication, critical thinking, collaboration, and creativity needed to succeed in the workplace.

Each statistic brings college students closer to debt, leaving higher education and policy leaders with the question, “How do we fix it?”

Our vision is to reduce $1.3 billion dollars of student debt annually through employing over 100,000 college students by 2025

We are a nonprofit organization powered by USA Funds with a goal to partner with companies and universities to offer part-time contact center jobs to students on college campuses. In turn, students have the opportunity to earn a competitive wage and up to $5,250 a year in tax-free tuition assistance.

We know our students are the greatest resource at EAW and we ensure students are making meaning of their experience by aligning our learning outcomes with the Council for Academic Standards and the National Association of Colleges and Employers. We are a bridge-building position – one that propels students to bigger and better opportunities after obtaining a degree.

For every 240 jobs created on a college campus by Education at Work, the possibility of $2.1 million of new annual wages and $700,000 of new annual tuition assistance is generated to help students access and complete their education.

Studies suggest retention initiatives designed to manage student enrollment are three to five times more cost effective than recruitment efforts. Through partnership we are able to help universities:

  • Reduce the burden of transportation to and from work. Through an on-campus center, students are able balance the distance between work and class.
  • Increase the likelihood of students taking advantage of campus resources, including dining services, tutoring services, campus events, and faculty office hours.
  • Create an opportunity to engage off-campus, first-generation, transfer, and other hard to reach student populations with a peer network of students going through similar experiences.
  • Identify at-risk students early, and positively move the retention dial.
EAW Erin

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