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BSC named as a Top 150 Community College eligible for $1M Aspen Prize

Published: Nov 08 2021
BSC named as a Top 150 Community College eligible for $1M Aspen Prize - Photo
The Aspen Institute College Excellence Program has named Bismarck State College as one of 150 community colleges eligible to compete for the $1 million 2023 Aspen Prize for Community College Excellence, the nation’s signature recognition of high achievement and performance among America's community colleges. Based on strong and improving student outcomes—including in learning, completion rates, employment rates and earnings, and equity—only 150 of the nation's community colleges have been invited to apply for the Aspen Prize.
The 150 community colleges named eligible to compete for the 2023 Aspen Prize were selected from a pool of nearly 1,000 public two-year colleges in the nation using publicly available data on student outcomes. Located in 34 states in urban, rural, and suburban areas, serving as few as 230 students and as many as 57,000 students, the colleges represent the diversity and depth of the community college sector, according to the Aspen College Excellence Program. BSC is the only North Dakota college selected to compete for the 2023 Aspen Prize.
The Aspen Prize, which is awarded every two years, focuses on student success and looks at outstanding achievements in four areas: learning; certificate and degree completion; employment and earnings; and high levels of access and success for minority and low-income students. The idea is to share promising practices as well as spotlight the need for a quality postsecondary education to attain good jobs and careers, according to officials.
The top 10 finalists for the 2023 Aspen Prize will be named in spring/summer 2022. The Aspen Institute will then visit each of the finalists and collect additional quantitative data, including employment and earnings data. A jury will then select in late spring 2023 a grand prize winner, finalists with distinction and rising stars.
Previous winners of the Aspen Prize for Community College Excellence are: San Antonio College (Texas), 2021; Miami Dade College (Florida) and Indian River State College (Florida), 2019; Lake Area Technical College (South Dakota), 2017; Santa Fe College (Florida), 2015; Santa Barbara City College (California) and Walla Walla Community College (Washington), 2013; Valencia College (Florida), 2011.
For a full list of the top 150 eligible institutions and to read more on the selection process, visit