At Braven, we fight for equity in opportunity and economic mobility. In our work, we are constantly reminded of the resilience of our Fellows who continue to overcome challenges on their way to career and lifetime success. In this report, we highlight their stories as we dive into two questions that assess Braven’s impact:
These students, along with their families and communities, deserve a more just America in every way. As we work towards an equitable recovery, we have an opportunity to build fundamentally better systems that will allow all of our nation’s talented young people a chance at the American promise.
Only 30% of about 1.3 million low-income or first-generation college students who enroll each year will graduate and secure a strong first job or enter graduate school.1 That’s more than 900,000 students every single year who aren't on the path to the American promise.
1 Composite statistics based on national sources, including NCES, NACE, and The Federal Reserve Bank of New York
Braven empowers promising college students with the skills, confidence, experiences, and networks necessary to transition from college to strong economic opportunities, which lead to meaningful careers and lives of impact.
The next generation of leaders will emerge from everywhere.
Braven empowers promising underrepresented young people on their paths to quality economic opportunities through a semester-long cohort-based course and a lighter-touch post-course experience that lasts through college graduation.
In our core higher education model, students take the course for credit either in-person or virtually. Students who come through our innovation programming via college success organizations receive a financial stipend in lieu of credit.
While trends about the job market favoring candidates are making headlines, when you dig deeper into the data, you learn it’s a candidate’s market for some–and not all. Across the nation, there has been a mismatch of labor market supply and demand tied to factors including worker desires, experience, and skills, 1 which has exacerbated inequities for workers of color and women.” 2
1 Edwards, Katherine A. How to Explain This Weird Job Market. Wall Street Journal, December 2021.
2 Long, Heather & Dam, Andrew & Fowers, Alyssa and Shapiro, Leslie “The COVID-19 recession is the most unequal in modern U.S. history”. The Washington Post, September 2020.
3 Long, Heather & Fowers, Alyssa and Dam, Andrew Why America has 8.4 million unemployed when there are 10 million job openings. The Washington Post, September 2021.
4 Simons, John. Gen Z and Millennials Are Leading a ‘Great Reshuffle.’ Here’s What That Means. Time, October 2021.
5 Franck, Thomas. Here’s where the jobs are - in one chart. CNBC, October 2021
6 Molla, Rani and Stewart, Emily. Why everybody’s hiring but nobody’s getting hired. Vox, September 2021.
In 2021, 216 Braven Fellows graduated from Rutgers University-Newark.1 This new class is outpacing their peers nationally in strong job attainment by 24 percentage points (69% vs 45%) within six months of graduation.
1 We have jobs data for 84% of FY21 graduates.
2 National benchmark estimates are based on data from NACE’s First Destination Survey, underemployment research from the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, and the volume Education, Skills, and Technical Change: Implications for Future US GDP Growth from the National Bureau of Economic Research.
When students are given access to information capital and networks as well as the opportunity to practice professional skills, the American promise is attainable within semesters.
By comparison, by age 30,
most Americans have a 50-50 shot of outearning their parents.2
1 Inclusive of all Braven graduates from FY18-FY21
2 Chetty, Raj et al. The Fading American Dream: Trends in Absolute Income Mobility Since 1940. Science, December 2016.
A high quality first job helps individuals build long-term wealth and health. Braven defines a strong first job as one that requires a bachelor’s degree and is full-time, as well as includes some combination of promotion pathways, employee benefits, and a market-competitive starting salary. 1
We revisited the RU-N class of 2020 in 2021, and we’re proud to see Braven graduates from last year making progress in this uneven economic recovery.
1 We know the updated job outcomes of 87% of the Class of 2020.
Quality experiences during college that connect students’ education with their career aspirations are critical for post-graduation success.1 Unfortunately, internship attainment and completion has cratered during the pandemic.2
1 Source: Student Outcomes Beyond Completion: National Findings From the 2021 Strada Alumni Survey
2 Source: NACE 2020-21 student survey administered from February 17, 2021, through May 14, 2021 and includes responses from graduating seniors (n = 2,339) from 85 four year colleges and universities. Similar NACE data from the class of 2020 is unavailable due to challenges with data collection during the height of the pandemic.
3 Similar experiences include co-ops, externships, and apprenticeships on the NACE 2020-2021 survey. The NACE 2018-19 survey asked only about internships and co-ops.
For college students, internships serve as critical proof points of experience that open professional doors. Compared with peers nationally, Braven Rutgers University-Newark 2021 graduates were 16 percentage points (69% vs. 53%) more likely to have at least one internship during their college experience.
1 These insights are from Braven predictive analyses across three statistical models (logistic regressions, elastic net, and random forest) across multiple regression specifications. Data analyzed for all-time Braven Fellow graduates through the class of 2021.
Braven conducted predictive analyses that show that internships are one of the most important predictive factors for quality outcomes within six months of graduation, even more so than GPA.1 Graduates with two or more internships are 24 percentage points more likely to secure quality outcomes than students who graduated with no internships.
College persistence has similarly declined in the last two years. Last year, college persistence at four-year public schools dropped to the lowest level since the starting cohort of 2014 and a 0.6 percentage point drop compared to the previous cohort. 2
Nationally, about 7 in 10 of Braven Fellows’ peers graduate college on time.1 Braven Fellows at Rutgers University-Newark are persisting in college and graduating at encouraging rates.2
1 Implied 6-year graduation rate for Black, Latinx, and Asian students who persisted from freshman to sophomore year at four-year public institutions. Sources: U.S. Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics, Digest of Education Statistics, 2020 release of Tables 326.10, 326.30, and 306.50.
2 Includes graduation data of 246 all-time graduates at Rutgers University-Newark, exclusive of any Fellows who took Braven as a senior.
Andrew and Wendy Lacey
Charles and Lynn Schusterman Family Philanthropies
Community Foundation of New Jersey
John and Wendy Cozzi
Linda and Brian Sterling
Susan and Thomas Dunn
The City Fund
$250K+ & programmatic support
$100K+ & programmatic support
JP Morgan Chase Foundation
$25K+ & programmatic support
Lazard Asset Management
$5K+ & programmatic support
Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield of New Jersey
<$5K and/or programmatic support
The College Board