2018 Special Recognition: City Vision University

Service-Oriented Postsecondary Education for Low-Income Individuals

While more and more high school graduates are enrolling in college, the distribution of degree attainment is heavily concentrated in the top quartile of household incomes. Since 1970, there has been a 37 percent increase in bachelor’s degree attainment in the top quartile and only a 3 percent increase in bachelor’s degree attainment in the bottom quartile.

While efforts have been made and technology has been utilized to make education more accessible to those who cannot afford traditional four-year universities, there is still work to be done among poor communities with at-risk adults looking for postsecondary education.

City Vision University has broadened access to postsecondary education specifically in areas of study that impact poor communities the most. It offers degrees in addiction studies, nonprofit management, and business, as well as degrees in Urban Missions.

Tuition for City Vision University is only about $7,000 a year, which is incredibly affordable compared to most postsecondary schools, and most students (almost 80 percent) receive Pell Grants that cover the cost of tuition. Also, City Vision connects students to internships that pay for the cost of the student’s tuition during the internship.

The service-oriented focus of City Vision attracts individuals from struggling communities and gives them the tools they need to help their communities with issues like addiction, a weak economy, or minimal access to public services. Graduates of City Vision often enter the non-profit sector and return to their community with ideas about volunteer initiatives or counseling services they can offer to help their friends, families, and neighbors overcome the challenges of poverty and addiction.

In the past 10 years, City Vision has placed more than 500 interns who have helped recruit almost 70,000 volunteers and serve over 24,000 at-risk individuals. The goal of City Vision is to expand its efforts to increase access to education in low-income and impoverished areas globally.

Pioneer Institute congratulates Andrew Sears, president of City Vision University, on his winning submission.

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