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May 24, 2017

In 2007, the City University of New York (CUNY) had an idea for improving graduation rates – a program of extensive academic, social, and financial supports that has come to be known as CUNY ASAP. NYC Opportunity helped CUNY set up the program, including providing $6.5 million per year to fund an initial cohort of approximately 1,000 students.

ASAP students graduate at double the rate of participants in traditional community college programs. These results, which are backed up by strong data-based evidence, led Mayor de Blasio to announce plans to expand ASAP to serve 25,000 students by the fall of 2018. Expansion is well underway, with the program serving over 15,000 students in spring 2017. The program is also being replicated in Ohio, and soon will be in community colleges in Westchester, NY and in California.

This video, produced by the digital media and social innovation firm NationSwell, tells the story of ASAP students and staff at Borough of Manhattan Community College. It also shows how NYC Opportunity builds evidence, analyzes data, and invests in what works to broaden opportunity for all New Yorkers.

To learn more about our work in data, design, digital products, evaluation, and research, visit our What We Do page.