B.A. Breakthrough Book

The B.A. Breakthrough

How Ending Diploma Disparities Can Change the Face of America

How the campaign to help poor students thrive at college is emerging as America’s most effective anti-poverty program

The country’s poorest students have just an 11 percent chance of graduating college within six years. That’s not the American Dream; it’s the American Dream denied.

In The B.A. Breakthrough: How Ending Diploma Disparities Can Change the Face of America, author Richard Whitmire argues that improving those odds could be “the most effective anti-poverty program ever launched in this country.”

The B.A. Breakthrough takes readers to the places across the country where that change is already happening — K-12 schools using data-smart college counseling techniques; elite colleges accepting once-disparaged community college transfers by the thousands; nonprofits sending college counselors into cash-strapped high schools.

Their work is dramatically improving college graduation for the most disadvantaged students. Whitmire documents how these transformations are spreading, and predicts that we are nearing a tipping point — one that could finally reverse income inequality in America.

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About the Author

Richard Whitmire

Richard Whitmire, a veteran newspaper reporter, is a former editorial writer at USA Today. He is the author of The Founders: Inside the revolution to invent (and reinvent) America’s best charter schools; On the Rocketship: How High Performing Charter Schools are Pushing the Envelope and The Bee Eater: Michelle Rhee Takes on the Nation’s Worst School District. Whitmire also wrote Why Boys Fail: Saving Our Sons from an Education System That’s Leaving Them Behind and co-authored The Achievable Dream: College Board Lessons on Creating Great Schools. Read his latest analysis for The 74 here.