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December 4, 2014

President Obama Touts College Opportunity Including St. Francis Post-Prison Program

Post–Prison College Opportunity Program Offers a Second Chance

St. Francis College joined President Obama, the First Lady, and Vice President Biden along with hundreds of college presidents and other higher education leaders to announce new actions to help more students prepare for and graduate from college.

group of staff and students

The White House College Opportunity Day of Action helps to support the President’s commitment to partner with colleges and universities, business leaders, and nonprofits to support students across the country to help our nation reach its goal of leading the world in college attainment. (Read the full list of programs)

Currently in its pilot phase, the Post–Prison College Opportunity Program ( at St. Francis College helps those from vulnerable, disadvantaged, low-income, and at-risk populations earn a degree through intensive student monitoring, ongoing assessment, and integrated social service supports within a rigorous college program.

“Our first six students have shown a remarkable commitment to continuing their education and to the College,” said Professor Emily Horowitz, Director of the Post-Prison Program. “They all appreciate the opportunity they have been given and are working hard to fulfill the promise and investment St. Francis College has made.”

Participants in the College Opportunity Day of Action were asked to commit to new programs in one of four areas: building networks of colleges around promoting completion, creating K-16 partnerships around college readiness, investing in high school counselors as part of the First Lady’s Reach Higher initiative, and increasing the number of college graduates in the fields of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics.

The President announced new steps on how his Administration is helping to support these actions, including announcing $10 million to help promote college completion and a $30 million AmeriCorps program that will improve low-income students’ access to college. The event was the second College Opportunity Day of Action, and included a progress report on the commitments made at the first day of action in January.

Expanding opportunity for more students to enroll and succeed in college, especially low-income and underrepresented students, is vital to building a strong economy and a strong middle class. Today, only 9 percent of those born in the lowest family income quartile attain a bachelor’s degree by age 25, compared to 54 percent in the top quartile. In an effort to expand college access, the Obama Administration has increased Pell scholarships by $1,000 a year, created the new American Opportunity Tax Credit worth up to $10,000 over four years of college, limited student loan payments to 10 percent of income, and laid out an ambitious agenda to reduce college costs and promote innovation and competition.

Find out more about the St. Francis College Post–Prison College Opportunity Program from Professor Emily Horowitz at [email protected] or visit

St. Francis College, founded in 1859 by the Franciscan Brothers of Brooklyn, is located in Brooklyn Heights, N.Y. Since its founding, the College has pursued its Franciscan mission to provide an affordable, high-quality education to students from New York City’s five boroughs and beyond.


St. Francis College, 180 Remsen Street, Brooklyn Heights, NY 11201

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