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College completion efforts close the opportunity gap, create equality

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Michigan is slightly ahead of the national figures for graduation rates; the state has also improved by a few percentage points in the last decade. But according to the Chronicle of Higher Education, we spend a lot for every certificate or degree: $75,879 versus $68,617 nationally.

Oakland University, in metro Detroit, recently hosted a conference designed to showcase some of the best practices among Michigan universities in getting students who start college to finish it. 

College completion can be a way to create those good citizens by closing the gap between rich and poor, says Syracuse professor Vincent Tinto, who gave the keynote speech at the conference. Much of Tinto's work has focused on ways to help low income students succeed in college, which is crucial to addressing the income inequalities that Tinto believes are harming America's productivity both nationally and on a global scale.
"Clearly, as we look toward the future, unless we are able to close that gap, we will never have reached the economic outcomes we want throughout the nation," Tinto explains. "Part of this is also a question about our international global competitiveness. I'm not only concerned about our ability to generate more students to help our economic development in the marketplace, but we're moving further behind individual nations and the world as a whole."

Read the full story here.
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