As it enters its sixth year, Graduation Initiative 2025 is well on its way to meeting many of its bold systemwide goals with the highest graduation rates for first-time and transfer students since the initiative launched. Yet, the CSU is committed to doing more, which means ensuring that all students, regardless of background, have the opportunity to receive a high-quality education and earn a CSU degree. The CSU expects to invest $75 million of the 2022-23 operating budget request to meet these ambitious goals. To that end, Chancellor Castro convened a new advisory committee for Graduation Initiative 2025 with an expressed goal to identify new and creative ways to address disparities in graduation rates and accelerate the elimination of equity gaps. The committee, comprised of CSU administrators, faculty, staff and students, issued a set of recommendations that included enhancements in student advising, expanding data sharing and increasing transparency across campuses.
Based on preliminary 2021 data, four- and six-year graduation rates for first-time students and two- and four-year rates for transfer students continue to improve and have reached all-time highs. These increases are remarkable given the challenges of the pandemic and represent the commitment of CSU faculty and staff and the intentional action by campus leaders for a laser focus on student success.
Table 4: CSU Systemwide Graduation Initiative Progress
The CSU is redoubling student success efforts with a more intentional focus on eliminating equity gaps. Informed by recommendations of the Graduation Initiative 2025 Advisory Committee, Chancellor Castro announced an action plan with the expressed goal to support students most in need–including students of color, first-generation and Pell Grant recipients. The plan’s five priorities are:
Additional state funding for Graduation Initiative 2025 is critical to maintain this momentum. These new investments will be used to offer more courses, hire additional tenure-track faculty and to advance innovative student success practices. Specifically, campuses will focus on addressing the five equity priorities within the framework of the six operational pillars:
Increased state funding will allow campuses to accelerate existing Graduation Initiative 2025 efforts and scale programs that have demonstrated success to ensure all California students have the opportunity to earn a degree. More information about specific systemwide and campus priorities can be found at