ASAP has been rigorously evaluated and is committed to continuous improvement through the use of data. ASAP evaluation includes ongoing internal analysis by CUNY utilizing a quasi-experimental constructed comparison group design, a five-year experimental design random assignment study led by MDRC, and cost-benefit analysis led by Professor Henry Levin and the Center for Benefit-Cost Studies in Education (CBCSE) at Teachers College. To date there have been over 20,000 ASAP students admitted across the participating CUNY colleges, with the first cohort entering in fall 2007 and the most recent in fall 2016.



Average Graduation Rates of ASAP and Comparison Group Students


CUNY’s internal evaluation uses a quasi-experimental design with a constructed comparison group. Each cohort is matched to a comparison group consisting of students who met ASAP selection criteria but did not participate in ASAP. A secondary analysis comparing ASAP students to a group of similar students identified using propensity score matching (PSM) is also conducted for each cohort to confirm retention and graduation results.

ASAP Evaluation Summary and Program Overview [pdf]

  • There are large and significant differences between ASAP and comparison group students in terms of retention, movement through developmental course work, credit accumulation, and graduation rates. ASAP’s current cross-cohort three-year graduation rate is 53% vs. 23% for comparison group students.
  • Students who start ASAP with developmental needs also graduate at high rates: After three years, 48% of ASAP students with developmental needs graduated vs. 21% of comparison group students with developmental needs.
  • Students from underrepresented groups appear to see even greater benefits from ASAP than other students.
  • When graduation and transfer are considered together, 63 out of every 100 students who began ASAP three years earlier have either graduated, transferred to a baccalaureate program, or both—versus 44 out of every 100 comparison group students.
  • Most importantly, ASAP students graduate at more than double the rates of non-ASAP students.