Fighting to end the racial injustice of lower college graduation rates for Black and Brown Detroiters and raise the rates for all Michiganders

The Current College Completion Gap

Postsecondary Graduation Rates Within 6 Years of Enrollment
(2012 High School Graduates)

Four-Year Degree

0%

25%

50%

National 66%

100%

0%

25%

Detroit 37%

100%

Two-Year Degree

0%

25%

National 39%

100%

0%

Detroit 10%

100%

Source; Detroit Regional Chamber State of Education 2019-2020

College Completion and Economic Opportunity

83% of regional jobs earning a family-sustaining wage require a Bachelor’s or Associate’s Degree.
Education Level
Wages More Than $62,510
No Education Requirement
<1%
High School Grad or Equivalent
1%
Apprenticeship
4%
Postsecondary Experience, No Degree
<1%
No Bachelor's Degree, Promoted to Occupation
12%
Associate Degree
9%
Bachelor's or Graduate Degree
74%
Total
100%
Source: Michigan Future Inc., University of Michigan, United Way of Southeastern Michigan Asset Limited, Income Constrained, Employed (ALICE).
Diploma Equity Project

Who We Are

Diploma Equity Project (DEP) is a Michigan non-profit organization founded in April 2021 by three veterans of the public education reform movement – Melissa Hamann, Danielle North, and Doug Ross.  DEP’s purpose is two-fold: contribute to closing the college graduation gap between low-income students of color and majority students and significantly boosting the number of college degrees earned to support the state’s Sixty by 30 education attainment goal.

Diploma Equity Project works collaboratively with K-12, higher education, and other community partners to design and implement programs to improve rates of college persistence and completion and also brings new programs to the region in support of these goals.  DEP programs are designed to improve college completion rates for both recent high school graduates entering colleges or universities and adults who are looking to return to college and earn their degree.

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