BRAGGING RIGHTS: What we do works!

Faith SandlerAdvising, Advocacy and Policy, Awards to Students, Education, Financial Aid, Impact, Leadership, Words of Faith

First, click on the image below and tell me what you see!

Just in case charts and graphs and data aren’t your thing, let me summarize in words:

  • Our students are significantly financially needy.
  • Year by year, we have increased average loans and grants to meet their need.
  • Our students earn grades in college at or above the national average. They graduate at rates well beyond their middle- and upper-income peers and six times higher than other low-income students.

Rob Foley, IT Director for The Scholarship Foundation, was excited to build the online page you see above. In our continued pursuit of full transparency, the Foundation published extensive data on our students last year; however, the dashboards were dense and the filters challenging and some of you didn’t make it to the punchline. So, in late 2017, Rob started talking about “KPIs”.

I’m a cultural anthropologist and a nonprofit executive director. I’ve been around the education world long enough to know plenty of acronyms, but KPI (Key Performance Indicator) had never crossed my desk or my mind. Rob and I worked together to bring you the one pager you saw when you clicked, and it’s still linked to the more complex reports for those who want more detail.

The story is a very good one, illustrated in those three bullet points above. Given all that we know about debt and graduation rates, diminished state aid, and skyrocketing tuition costs, we have reason to brag about the remarkable outcomes our students produce. Our report card is stellar because the students are brilliant in so many ways.

How do we get these outcomes? Here are the ingredients:

  1. Laser-sharp focus on mission
  2. Direct financial support to carefully selected students
  3. Advising
  4. Advocacy and collaboration

These are the pieces that fit together to meet the students where they are, offer the resources they need to succeed, and ultimately result in key performance indicators that reinforce the values first put forth by our founding mothers nearly 100 years ago.

– Faith Sandler