Launched in fall 2007, ASAP is a comprehensive program for students pursuing their associate degrees at nine CUNY colleges: Borough of Manhattan Community College, Bronx Community College, Hostos Community College, Kingsborough Community College, LaGuardia Community College, Queensborough Community CollegeMedgar Evers College, with recent additions at New York City College of Technology and College of Staten Island. Fall 2015 marked the launch of our pilot program, ACE (Accelerate, Complete, Engage), at John Jay College to support baccalaureate students. ACE will expand to Lehman College in fall 2019.


ASAP is designed to help associate degree seeking students earn their degrees as quickly as possible, with a goal of graduating at least 50% of students within three years.  Due to a variety of stresses and responsibilities, too many students are not able to complete their associate degrees in a timely manner, if at all. ASAP helps to eliminate these stresses by providing students with the academic, social, and financial support they need to graduate with an Associate in Arts or Associate in Applied Science degree in no more than three years.  Key ASAP program features include a consolidated block schedule, cohorts by major, small class size, required full-time study, and comprehensive and personalized advisement and career development services. Financial incentives include waivers of tuition and mandatory fees for financial aid-eligible students, textbook assistance, and monthly MetroCards for all students.


How Did ASAP Begin?

ASAP began in fall 2007 with a cohort of 1,132 students who were deemed fully skills proficient in reading, writing, and math by program start. Approximately a third of students required developmental coursework prior to beginning the program. As of September 2010, CUNY ASAP surpassed its graduation target and helped 621 students, or 55% of the fall 2007 cohort, earn their associate degrees within three years versus 25% of a comparison group of similar students.  The ASAP three-year graduation rate is more than three times higher than the national urban community college three-year graduation rate of 16%.


Based on early success with the first cohort, ASAP began to target students with some developmental needs at program entry. Cohorts admitted since 2009 have been primarily comprised of students with one to two developmental course needs based on their scores on the CUNY Assessment Tests. Analysis of the fall 2009 cohort (N=429) reveals that ASAP students were retained at higher rates, moved through their developmental requirements significantly faster, and graduated at much higher rates than comparison group students.  The three-year graduation rate for the fall 2009 ASAP cohort, of which 76% entered with developmental needs, was 56% versus 22% for comparison group students.


How is ASAP Doing?

There have been nine ASAP cohorts totaling 12,780 students admitted across seven participating CUNY colleges. The ASAP graduation rate is more than three times the national three-year graduation rate of 16% for urban community colleges (IPEDS). ASAP’s current cross-cohort three-year graduation rate is 53% vs. 23% for comparison group students. Since 2009, ASAP has admitted students with some developmental needs (1-2 developmental course needs based on scores on the CUNY Assessment Test) who also graduate at significantly higher rates than non-ASAP comparison group students. After three years, 48% of ASAP students with developmental needs graduated vs. 21% of comparison group students with developmental needs. Click here to read our ASAP Evaluation Summary and Program Overview.


How is ASAP Funded?

In addition to city and state support, ASAP has received grant funds from the Robin Hood Foundation, the Stella and Charles Guttman Foundation, the Leona M. and Harry B. Helmsley Charitable Trust, and the Jewish Foundation for the Education of Women to support program expansion, a random assignment study, and scholarships. ASAP also currently receives funding from and the Sidney and Laura Gilbert Scholarship Fund to support eligible ASAP alumni currently enrolled at CUNY senior colleges.


How Do I Apply?

Please view our How to Apply page for more information about eligibility and steps to joining.


How Do I Stay Informed about ASAP?

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