hirty-two percent of Philadelphia high school students that enter college enroll at the Community College of Philadelphia (CCP). CCP is a critical resource for the city, and its capacity to support students in persisting through college and transitioning to a successful next step is key to fostering an educated, talented workforce in Philadelphia.

There are many challenges facing community college students that make it difficult to persist through school, but according to a recent study by MDRC, a primary driver is finances. In a random assignment study, MDRC found that students who were provided an average additional income of $1,133 per year (up to $2,000) re-enrolled the next semester at rates 30% higher than their peers.

Single Stop USA (www.singlestopusa.org) has built an innovative model, partnering with community colleges to help students obtain the financial resources necessary to persist through college. The program supplements student income by connecting them with tax credits, benefits, and supports for which the students are already eligible. Single Stop has found that by combining technology, enrollment support, tax preparation, and counseling, it has been able to help students access an average of nearly $2,000 per year to help ease the financial burden of post-secondary education; in doing so, it has helped increase persistence rates at 15 colleges across seven states. We believe that Single Stop can match— and even improve upon— that success in Philadelphia. These are just a few reasons why:

Strong partnership with CCP:Community College of Philadelphia has made a financial and institutional commitment to Single Stop’s success. This partnership has ensures Single Stop has the space, staff, and resources it needs to serve students, and that it integrates with existing CCP programming and technology to ensure the maximum number of students have access to Single Stop’s services.

Leverage: Single Stop has one of the clearest financial returns on investment in the nonprofit sector. Every dollar invested in Single Stop returns $21 in benefits for its students.

Connection with Philadelphia goals: Mayor Nutter has laid out the ambitious goal of doubling the number of city residents with a college degree. Increasing persistence through community college is a key part of that goal. High-volume, impactful programs like Single Stop can make a material difference in helping the city reach these targets. CCP has embraced this model, and both the college and the program have ambitious goals for growth and scale in the next five years.

GreenLight is thrilled to partner with CCP and Single Stop to help maximize the impact of CCP and enable more students to stay enrolled and advance toward their degrees and beyond.  To learn more about Single Stop, visit www.singlestopusa.org.