Congratulations to the 20 semifinalists for the 2025 Aspen Prize!

The institutions 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.

Announcing the 2024-2025 Cohort of the Rising Presidents Fellowship

Representing 20 states, this diverse cohort of 39 leaders will learn and apply concrete, grounded, and innovative strategies to meet student success challenges at their colleges.

Applications are now open for the second cohort of the Presidents Fellowship!

The Aspen Presidents Fellowship is an immersive, yearlong cohort-based program that merges learning, exploration, and collaborative exchange within a dynamic network of peers who are driven by a shared commitment to instigating profound, scalable transformations at their institutions.

Aspen-AASCU Transfer Intensive 2024-2025 Cohort Announced!

The one-year intensive strengthens partnerships between community colleges and AASCU members via monthly sessions, focusing on improving practices and policies for equitable transfer student success.

Reports outline opportunities to fix transfer systems failing most community college students

The new dual reports—one for community colleges and the other for four-year institutions—are the first to include transfer data disaggregated by race, ethnicity, and income. Each report advocates for improving inefficient transfer pathways in higher education and offers recommendations to enhance transfer practices.

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.

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.