College Access and Completion

A college degree can be key to achieving success in work and life. But for many of our students, making the leap from high school to college comes with many barriers.

That is why we partnered with the Tennessee College Access and Success Network to develop Bridge to Completion: A Framework for Developing Nashville’s Campaign for College Success, the first-ever comprehensive, citywide research study to better understand Nashville’s postsecondary landscape.

The findings

About 80%

of our high school seniors take concrete steps toward college, like meeting with school counselors and applying for financial aid.

But only 24%

of Nashville public high school graduates end up earning a postsecondary degree within six years.

There can be


from that first step in high school to college graduation, including financial strain, transportation issues, food insecurity and family obligations.

In order to bridge this gap between students who want to go to college and those who actually earn degrees, we are implementing an multipronged action plan, which includes things like improving access to college counseling, increasing student support services at community colleges and launching a coordinated effort to combat “summer melt.”

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