Recognizes outstanding achievements that result in student success

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (Oct. 11, 2017) - Daytona State College has been named one of 150 two-year colleges, from a pool of nearly 1,000 nationwide, eligible to compete for the 2019 The Aspen InstituteAspen Prize for Community College Excellence, the signature recognition of high achievement and performance in America's two-year colleges.

The Aspen Institute, a Washington D.C.-based think tank, selected DSC to compete for up to $1 million in prize money. Awarded every two years, the Aspen Prize recognizes institutions with outstanding achievements in four areas: learning, program completion, post-graduate employment and earnings, and equitable outcomes for underrepresented students. It is the third year DSC has been selected to join the contest since the competition's inception in 2011.

"This is such a great honor for the entire Daytona State College community," said President Tom LoBasso. "To consistently be selected to compete places us in the top tier of the nation's two-year institutions. But more significant, it is a testament to the outstanding faculty and student support staff who dedicate themselves to teaching and learning at Daytona State each and every day."

Thirteen of Florida's 28 state colleges will join DSC in the competition. The 150 institutions nationwide that also will vie for the 2019 prize were selected using publicly available data on student outcomes from the National Center for Education Statistics' Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS) and the U.S. Census Bureau. Located in 39 states, in urban, rural and suburban areas, serving as few as 300 students and as many as 95,000 students, these colleges represent the diversity and depth of the community college sector, the institute noted in announcing its selections.

The next round of the competition calls for each college to undergo extensive evaluation. A list of 10 Aspen Prize finalists will be announced in May 2018. The institute will then conduct site visits to each of the finalists and collect additional quantitative data. The winner will be announced in spring 2019.

Daytona State has been recognized as a leader in higher education numerous times, consistently by U.S. News & World Report, which ranked the college among the Top Tier Best Online Bachelor's Programs in the nation in 2017, for the fifth year running. The U.S. Department of Education's College Affordability and Transparency Center has ranked DSC among the top 50 most affordable public four-year institutions in the country, with less than half the tuition of the national average. Community College Week, a leading publication in higher education, annually continues to feature the college in its list of Top 100 Associate Degree Producers, and for three years in a row, U.S. News & World Report has ranked DSC among its Top Online Bachelor's Programs for Veterans.

More information on the Aspen Institute and a full list of the 150 two-year colleges eligible to compete for the prize are available at