CUNY Student-Mentors Boosted High School Grads’ College Enrollment
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- High school graduates were more likely to attend college after receiving help from a college peer mentor, according to a City University of New York study.
- The study focused on CUNY's College and Career Bridge for All (CCB4A) program, which hires college students to advise graduating high school students.
- Roughly 77% of CCB4A participants wound up attending college compared to 69% of students who didn't participate in the program, according to the study.
- The program was particularly effective for historically underserved students, according to the study.
High school graduates who got help from a college student as part of a City University of New York (CUNY) program were more likely to eventually enroll in higher education, according to a new study.
CUNY's College and Career Bridge for All (CCB4A) program hires college students to advise graduating high school students to combat "summer melt," which occurs when people who plan to go to college end up not attending.
A recent study from CUNY found that the mentorship program, which launched in 2016 and has since ballooned into the biggest peer counseling program in the country, increases a high school graduate's likelihood of heading to college. A review of CCB4A's 2020 cohort of more than 53,000 high school seniors found that students who received peer mentoring were more likely to enroll in college.
Roughly 77% of CCB4A participants "matriculated," or enrolled in college, compared to 69% of students who didn't participate in the peer mentoring program, according to the study. Program participants had an overall higher application rate and acceptance rate than those who didn't participate.
"Given that the increase in matriculation is much higher than the acceptance rate, the biggest impact of the CCB4A program is on enrollment outcomes," the study reads. "These results suggest that CCB4A is indeed successful in guiding students through all the necessary steps in their matriculation process."
The study notes that the program "was particularly effective for Black and Hispanic students, and students living in low-income neighborhoods, three groups typically underrepresented in higher education."
Black and Hispanic students who received peer mentoring were almost twice as likely to apply to a college after May compared to white students, according to the study.
The study describes CCB4A as an "an effective and low-cost model" to ensure that students make it to college because it uses existing funding to hire college students rather than taking on more costs. Mentors are also uniquely equipped to help the high school students who take part in the program, since they're matched based on borough, neighborhood, and high school.
Enrollment gains were higher at two-year as opposed to four-year colleges, according to the study.
While the program showed a noteworthy positive effect on enrollment resulting from peer mentoring, the authors cautioned that the results might be somewhat unique to New York City.
"The context of NYC is also very different from the rest of the nation, where close to
66% of all CUNY first-time college freshmen attend with all tuition and fees covered by financial aid, and the cost of living is higher," the study reads. "Nonetheless, this study is significant given that this is the only program to our knowledge that serves an entire city, that is also the largest school system in the nation, serving a high percentage of historically underrepresented students."