Metro Academies Cost-Efficiency Study


Research on the cost-effectiveness of a model that redesigns the first two years of college.

Can colleges restructure pathways to transfer and completion in a way that both improves students’ outcomes and saves money? The Metro Academies Cost-Efficiency Study, led by Dr. Rob Johnstone of the RP Group and the National Center for Inquiry and Improvement, explored this question by assessing the Metro model collaboratively designed and implemented by City College of San Francisco and San Francisco State University faculty.

Metro Academies focus on reducing student attrition by restructuring the first two years of college and integrating targeted support into participants’ experience. Data on outcomes and cost indicate that the Metro model holds promise for cost efficiently increasing college success and degree completion for low-income, first-generation and underrepresented students. By investing a small amount on the front end—the first two years of college—institutions can realize a much larger cost reduction per graduate on the back end. Specifically, this analysis found that by investing an additional $740 per student per year for two years, City College’s Metro reduces overall costs per community college completer by $22,714.  For an additional investment of $470 per student per year for two years, SF State’s Metro reduces overall costs per graduate by $17,879. 


For more information…

Read the Metro Academies Cost Efficiency Study