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How can Arizona improve higher education attainment rates?

College Success Arizona released a new policy brief that explains the characteristics of a well-designed state grant aid program that would boost Arizona’s postsecondary attainment rate.

The brief, “Investing in College Access, Supporting Completion: How Need-Based State Grant Aid Can Help Increase Higher Education Attainment Rates in Arizona,” provides insight to state leaders, legislators, and policymakers on the important role that state-sponsored, need-based grant aid programs play in boosting the state’s attainment of its students.

“Postsecondary attainment is essential to the success of Arizona’s students, particularly those from low-income and minority backgrounds,” said Rich Nickel, CEO of College Success Arizona. “Ensuring that low-income students have access to robust need-based state grant aid programs will help so many more of our state’s students to enroll in college and complete their course of study.”

Targeting low-income students with need-based aid can lower the cost of college, thereby increasing affordability and the likelihood these students will enroll in a postsecondary degree program. The brief concludes with recommendations for policymakers regarding how Arizona can best design and implement effective state-sponsored need-based grant aid programs.

“Our ability to increase postsecondary attainment rates in Arizona will undoubtedly shape the future success of our state,” Paul Luna, president and CEO of the Helios Foundation. “Research from College Success Arizona has consistently found that increasing higher education access and success not only offers economic and social benefits for individuals and their families, but also for the state as a whole.”

“When young people in Arizona are able to access and complete postsecondary education programs, their opportunities for well-paying jobs and supporting our state’s economy increase substantially,” said Vince Roig, chairman of the Board of Directors of College Success Arizona. “Providing state grant aid to more students will help Arizona to strengthen its workforce and create sustainable economic growth.”

This brief is the third in a series of non-partisan and evidence-based policy briefs, and College Success Arizona’s fourth major publication on college attainment. It builds off of the previous policy brief, “How State Grant Aid Increases College Participation and Drives Attainment,” which provided an analysis of grant and financial aid as a barrier to attainment.

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