We’re Working On

MDRC is about developing and testing solutions
to the wide range of challenges that confront
low-income individuals, families, and children.


This guide for counselors and advisers offers strategies for helping low-income high school students choose selective colleges that match their academic profiles, financial considerations, and personal needs. It tracks the many steps in the college search, application, and selection process, suggesting ways to incorporate a “match” focus at each stage.


Only about 20 percent of full-time degree-seeking students entering public two-year schools earn a degree within three years. In seeking solutions, community colleges typically focus on one institutional problem at a time. This brief looks at the experiences of five community colleges attempting a systemwide reform to substantially increase completion rates.


Temporary agencies have become an increasingly important employer of low-skilled, low-wage workers. Alternative staffing organizations that use this model to serve disadvantaged workers (such as welfare recipients and people with disabilities) appear to fill a need, but they must build the capacity to run a viable, competitive business.