Complete 2 Compete Initiative Encourages Former Students to Pursue Their Degrees

Mississippi Institutions of Higher Learning and the Mississippi College Board recently launched an initiative to help those who have earned college credit, but did not finish with a degree, complete their program. The Complete 2 Compete (C2C) initiative was launched to help Mississippi adults complete a degree program in order to have a better chance at finding a job, and earning more money. It is also aiming to reach out to those who have enough credits to obtain a degree, but may not be aware.

According to the US Census Bureau, 54% of Mississippi jobs will require education beyond high school by 2018. Forbes reports that there is a $22,000 salary difference between college and high school graduates. C2C hopes to help those Mississippi residents who have not completed their degrees, finish so they can have a better chance to maintain a successful career. Having more qualified workers with college degrees will help improve incomes and the overall state’s economy.

Any Mississippi adult who has been out of college for a consecutive 24 months is eligible to pursue their degree completion through Complete 2 Compete. C2C’s website has an online application that can check if someone is qualified for the program. By answering a few questions about college enrollment and degree status, residents can find out the next steps in the process to finishing or obtaining a degree. It costs nothing to apply and is a quick and easy process.

After the program was launched this summer, 18 people received their bachelor’s, 50 received associates and over 3,000 had completed the online applications. According to state records, 2,400 former students have enough credits for a bachelor’s degree, and 28,000 qualify for an associate’s. More than 100,000 former students are eligible to obtain their degree with no additional coursework. Complete 2 Compete aims to target more of these students who are eligible to obtain their degrees so they can be better qualified for jobs.

University of Mississippi student Debra Harris became the first student in Mississippi to earn a degree through the Complete 2 Compete program. She had earned many hours but did not complete her degree due to a military career and starting a family. Harris returned to the university and completed two more years, but had to leave again due to family circumstances. When hearing about the program, she filled out an online application, and heard back a week later that she could earn her bachelor’s degree with no additional coursework.

Debra Harris with her Bachelor’s degree received through Complete 2 Compete program.

The University of Mississippi has received over 150 applications through C2C. Not only can students be eligible for degree completion, but they can also be considered for a one-time grant to eliminate any past due balances they may have on accounts from previous years, or to pay application fees for re-enrollment.

With the new resources available to Mississippi residents, Complete 2 Compete urges those who may not know if they are eligible to finish or earn their degree to check if they are eligible and apply. More information can be found on their website at :