Vanessa Brewer grew up with aspirations to become the first member of her family to earn a college degree. She excelled in high school but struggled early in her college career at the University of Texas at Austin to find her place. She began to question herself and the abilities that had enabled her to excel in high school. She wasn’t sure whether she truly belonged.
Vanessa’s story is not unusual. Students throughout the country struggle to graduate from college – some finish on time, some finish late, some don’t finish at all. That disparity among student experiences reveals a serious shortcoming in the higher education system. Graduating – and graduating on time – matters.