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Duet: Advancing economic mobility for Boston College students

Project overview

College degrees give people the opportunity to find and get better jobs and increase lifetime earnings. However, for students who need to work, take care of family, and juggle multiple responsibilities, attending college is just a dream.

To open up more opportunities for these students to graduate, Duet created a new college pathway that removes many of the barriers preventing on-time degree completion. Often referred to as an “on demand” college model, through a partnership with Duet and Southern New Hampshire University (SNHU), Boston students now have the ability to earn a reputable, affordable degree on a schedule that works for them.

How it helps

By limiting the barriers of cost and time, Duet’s innovative model has quickly proven to be a successful alternative for Boston’s working young adults seeking to gain a postsecondary degree.

Upon enrolling, students select which accredited degree they’d like to achieve, as well as a graduation date. Duet provides access to all the work required for their degree, and there are no limits to when they can study or how much they can complete at any given time. This makes it possible for students to work full time if needed. On the financial side, students pay per semester, and the more work they finish, the less they pay per credit. This puts students in control of how long they are enrolled and how much their degree costs. But they don’t do it alone: students have an assigned coach by their side to provide support from course selection on through career placement.

The results show this model is working. The first 100 students who earned an SNHU degree through Duet often graduated earlier than those in traditional accreditation programs.

  • Average time to complete an Associate degree: 17 months
  • Average time to complete a Bachelor’s degree: 19 months (if the student had already obtained an Associate)
  • Average time to complete both the Associate and Bachelor’s degree: 31 months (all in under 4 years)

Given the organization’s early success, Duet is looking to expand so they can serve more students in the area — setting them on a path towards economic mobility for life.

Foundation Project Lead