State initiative encourages former students to finish college

MURRAY, KY — When you send your child to college, you want them to graduate. In fact, 70 percent of Americans will study at a four-year college, according to collegeatlas.org. But, more than a third will drop out before earning a degree.

Kentucky’s Project Graduate is encouraging former students to get back in the classroom to complete their bachelor’s degrees. Its part of a statewide initiative called Double the Numbers. The goal is to raise the state’s standard of living to the national average by doubling the number of college graduates by 2020. The program works to accomplish that goal by waiving application fees and providing support services.

David Ramey started his freshman year at Murray State University back in 1984.

“Every semester I was trying to figure out how I was going to stay in school,” says David.

David dropped out before earning his degree. “I built a pretty good life without it,” says David. “But in the back of my mind it was something, you know? I need to get this done.”

David has already earned 104 college credits. He only needs 16 more for a bachelor’s degree.

“This is an incomplete in my life,” says David.

Now, at 51 years-old, David is heading back to college, joining his kids at Murray State.

“My father has always taught me and my brother to chase after our dreams and to finish what we started,” says David’s daughter, Lily Ramey.

“It might be weird having him on campus, but at the same time I’m proud for him and excited for him,” says David’s son, John Ramey.

John is a senior this year. If everything goes as planned, the father and son will be walking together at graduation in May.

“That would be a highlight of my life to me,” says John. “That’s for sure.”

“Beyond my wildest dreams,” says David.

It’s a dream that’s on the verge of coming true.

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