Competitive Advantage

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Competitive Advantage

Delivering Tips, Insights and Resources for Success

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C2C Is a Win-Win for Everyone


Whether you’ve heard about the C2C Program through a friend, coworker, or an advertisement, you might be wondering what we do exactly? Well, you’re in the right place! Here, we’re going to explain how C2C helps everyone succeed.

What is C2C?

The Complete 2 Compete program is an initiative created by the Mississippi Institutions of Higher Learning and the Mississippi Community College Board with the goal of helping adult learners overcome barriers to return to school to finish their degrees. We acknowledge that adult students face unique challenges on the path to graduation, and the C2C Program is the answer to these problems. It’s been built for your success from the ground up.

Where is Mississippi falling behind?

Unfortunately, Mississippi has the second-lowest college graduation rate in the entire country with only 22% of the population earning a college degree or higher each year. C2C is on a mission to drastically increase the number of college degree holders in the state. Our strategy is to focus on adult Mississippians who already have some college since these individuals are the closest to a degree. This is one of the quickest and most effective ways to increase the trend of college graduations to unlock all of the benefits that come with it.

The positive impact of C2C

That sounds good and all, but what are the broader implications of the C2C Program? The impact of the program all stems from the positive reverberations that come from higher rates of graduation.

Our State

Mississippi is our state. It holds a special place in all our hearts, and we all want the best for the Magnolia State. The C2C Program is doing its part to build a brighter future for Mississippians by helping adults return to school to finish their degrees. But it’s not just individuals who benefit from high rates of college graduation but the entire state. If Mississippi can equip more adults with degrees, positive changes will be seen across the board.

Higher educated populations are associated with lower rates of unemployment. This not only costs the state less in terms of financial support for those in need, but it also gives families and individuals the resources they need to stay afloat during difficult economic times. The higher earnings of college graduates also translate to more money circulating in the local economy. In fact, college graduates contribute $278,000 more in their lifetime to their local economies.

Another crucial way the C2C Program can benefit our state through higher rates of graduation is by building a more attractive workforce. With higher-skilled workers offering more to employers, business investments will flow more easily. This translates to more investments in Mississippi as companies from out of state see the local economy and workforce as a promising seedbed to expand their operations. This leads to more job opportunities, higher wages…and the list goes on and on. But it all starts with helping individuals just like you return to finish their degrees.

Our Economy

Improved college graduation rates also contribute to a healthier economy. The Lumina Foundation has shown that college graduates donate $771 more annually than they would without a degree. When more people give back, everyone in the state is lifted to higher standards of living.

It’s clear that individuals with a higher degree have an opportunity to earn more than they would have otherwise, but an adult learner’s return to school can actually increase the wages of everyone in the economy. Yes, you heard that right! The more you earn, the more others earn too. Enrico Moretti, a renowned economist, found that boosting the college-educated workforce by just one percent resulted in an increase in wages for those with lower than high school education, high school graduates, and individuals with some college by 2.2%, 1.3%, and 1.2%, respectively.

Our Schools

The Mississippi colleges and universities that are integral in helping students return to complete their degrees also have something to gain in reversing the trend of low graduation rates. Mississippi schools benefit from improved reputations when more adult students return to finish their degrees. Through the C2C Program, many Mississippians return to complete a degree at the community college or university they attended in the past. Every time this happens, a school increases its graduation rate – an important metric for both attracting students and investments. After graduation, C2C students become advocates for their school by example. The most obvious advantage of increased enrollment for Mississippi colleges and universities is a boost in income. With more funding, schools can reinvest to improve the quality of their offerings for future students.

C2C Students

Mississippi adults are the main benefactors of the C2C Program. After all, it’s our mission to help people just like you return to school to finish their degrees. You went to college with the best intentions, but life happens, and obstacles arise that make it difficult to complete. With C2C, you can return with the resources you need to succeed (link to resources page). But how does a college degree benefit you? Hint: It’s not just the emotional achievement!

One of the most shocking advantages of holding a degree is the increased earnings you can experience. In fact, college graduates can earn 84% more than they would without holding that coveted diploma. That comes out to be around $2.3 million over your entire life. Also, according to the Mississippi Institutions of Higher Learning, Mississippi college graduates earn $16,057 more annually than their high school graduate counterparts. 

But you’re not the only person who can benefit from completing your degree. The achievement of a college education sends a ripple effect throughout generations of your family. As a positive example, your degree actually increases the chances that your children will attend and graduate from college. We even had a C2C grad even walk across the stage with his daughter. And he wasn’t the only one!

While all these benefits are excellent reasons to finish your degree, one of the most impactful reasons is the fresh start it can provide. Hundreds of C2C graduates have put themselves on a better path financially, professionally, and emotionally by returning to college. Here are some quotes from successful C2C students about the impact of the program:

“I’m living proof that it’s NEVER too late to go back to school. I never saw myself going back, but I will forever be happy that I did. And having an amazing C2C Coach like Michele [Arney] has made it an incredible experience.”

“Truthfully, my bachelor’s degree was just the first step. I always dreamt about getting a master’s degree, but I needed my bachelor’s first. C2C made it possible. [My C2C Coach] and C2C were exactly what I needed – they listened to what my goals were, then showed me how to apply what I had already accomplished [so that I could pursue my master’s degree].”

“I tell people not to put going back to school on hold. No obstacles are too big – I’m living proof. Earning your degree is the only way to get the life you want…I can’t expect my kids to do something that I haven’t done. So, I got over my fears and walked across that stage.”

It’s a win-win for everyone!

The C2C Program is tackling the problem of low college graduation head-on by helping Mississippi adults just like you who have some college experience and no degree return to school to finish what they started. Eligible C2C participants are paired with a deeply knowledgeable and committed C2C Coach who will chart the quickest path towards graduation based on the students’ previous credits. Some C2C students might even qualify for the renewable $1,000 C2C Grant to help alleviate some of the financial burdens of returning to school.

Take a few minutes to fill out the C2C app and get connected with a C2C Coach. You’ll get one step closer to your new future.


C2C is a state program that helps Mississippi adults who previously attended college earn a degree and create a brighter future.