Congratulations to the 150 U.S. community colleges eligible for the 2025 Aspen Prize!

The colleges selected for this honor stand out among more than 1,000 community colleges nationwide as having high and improving levels of student success as well as equitable outcomes for Black and Hispanic students and those from lower-income backgrounds.

Applications are open for the next cohort of the Rising Presidents Fellowship!

Applications are open now until December 11. Click here to apply!

Announcing the first cohort of Aspen Presidents Fellows

The College Excellence Program is proud to introduce the inaugural cohort of presidents selected for the 2023-24 Aspen Presidents Fellowship. They are among the nation's most promising community college leaders—committed to taking risks, building partnerships, and setting a bold vision to advance equitable student outcomes.

Announcing the 10 colleges selected of Unlocking Opportunity!

A first-of-its-kind initiative reflecting the next wave of the community college reform: a bold focus on excellence and equity in post-completion outcomes.

Improving the Path to Transfer

Colleges rely on articulation agreements to improve transfer pathways, but they don’t solve the problem. A new analysis shows how student-centered alternatives can to yield better transfer outcomes.

A higher standard of excellence

The Aspen Institute's College Excellence Program aims to advance higher education practices and leadership that significantly improve student learning, completion, and employment after college—especially for the growing population of students of color and low-income students on American campuses.

We support colleges and universities in their quest to achieve a higher standard of excellence, delivering credentials that unlock life-changing careers and strengthen our economy, society, and democracy.

We know it takes visionary college leaders to achieve this higher standard and we make it our mission to equip them with the knowledge, skills, and research-backed tools to inspire change, shift practice, and advance the capacity of colleges to deliver excellent and equitable student outcomes.

“My community college changed my life.”

Students at the 2021 Aspen Prize finalist institutions share how they have been set up for success.