Rutgers is going all out to help black students graduate, and it seems to work:
“Rutgers’ Run to the Top program offers free tuition to local community-college graduates and Newark residents whose families make less than $60,000 a year. Since most first-generation college students start at community college, Rutgers-Newark has also made transfer pathways from local community colleges easier, by guaranteeing credit for most majors.
And admissions officers have begun to go to local public schools, churches, and community events to aggressively recruit Newark residents. …
its honors college, the Honors Living-Learning Community (HLLC), ... opened in 2015. Accepted students get a scholarship that covers housing and a meal plan. Admissions require an essay and two interviews; standardized test scores are not considered. ...
"In 2009, between 800 and 900 student registrations were cancelled because students had not paid their bills, according to administrators. A program called Registration and Recovery Efforts has cut that number by two-thirds. The Business Office identifies students who are behind in payments and puts the word out to faculty advisors, residential advisors and the veterans and disability offices, to name a few. The idea is that people who already have a relationship with a student are in a better position to identify what the problem might be and help solve it before the student has to drop out.” [This kind of program requires a lot of trust; I'd be much more skeptical of informing every university employee a student knows about her financial troubles if this were at a for-profit college.] …
"'You might be returning from prison, and any bump in the road can derail you—a sick child so you miss an assignment; a broken-down car so you need to work more. Maybe you feel disrespected in class by other students or professors. You need people to talk to and to feel like you’re being heard.'
It has become clear to more and more administrators nationwide that emotional issues can be as disruptive as financial ones when it comes to keeping students in college.
Faculty and staff at Rutgers-Newark now have a phone number and email they can use to alert a group of counselors if they think a student might be in trouble. The counseling team is aware that many students won’t seek assistance, so they’ve set up “listening tables” at gathering points on campus. Doctors and counselors are posted in academic building lobbies, student lounges and cafeterias to offer counseling and wellness advice and referrals on stress reduction, healthy relationships, sexual assault and other issues."