The University of Delaware's NUCLEUS Program, which prepares freshman for college life and academic success, got a large donation from Navient.

The University of Delaware’s NUCLEUS Program helps incoming freshman get acclimated to college life and prepare for academic success. The program attracts the support of many organizations, the most recent being a $10,000 donation from the Navient Foundation.

Rosalind Johnson, assistant dean of student success for the University’s College of Arts and Sciences, said in a statement that the donation – which will help cover costs like tuition, fees, and books – will further the college’s mission to provide additional support to undergraduate students.

The five-week program takes place during the summer before freshman year and counts for four college credits. The curriculum includes a weekly success seminar that teaches students how to be successful during their undergraduate years.

However, the program extends beyond just one summer course. Students who become members of the NUCLEUS program will have access to additional skill development workshops, support, and tools throughout their undergraduate years. All this is offered at no additional cost to students.

Patricia Nash Christel, vice president of Navient, said in a statement that the Navient Foundation supports the University of Delaware’s innovative approach to coach students through their academic journey.

Navient’s “Money Under 35” survey found that adults who earn a college degree tend to earn more money and have better career prospects than those without a degree. However, adults who begin attending college only to drop out actually do worse than individuals who never attended at all. Worse yet, nearly half of college dropouts default on their student loans.

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But for low-income students or students facing financial hardship, graduating from college isn’t always as straightforward as it seems. Fifteen percent of students will leave school without finishing their degree even though they have completed at least 75 percent of their required credits, according to The Association of Public and Land-Grant Universities.

Often, these students can be taking all the right steps to finish their degree but are simply unable to pay their tuition. Many of these students don’t have families supporting them through school.

This is why many schools award college completion grants to students who are on the path toward graduation but facing financial hardship. A report by the Coalition of Urban-Serving Universities found that a grant of even a couple hundred dollars could help keep some students from dropping out.

Students who find themselves in this situation should check with their school to see if they offer college completion grants. They are becoming increasingly popular with schools like Cleveland State University, Kent State University, and Ohio State University all launching similar programs. Students can also target their college search to the schools that offer the most financial aid on average.