Is the Applied Scholastics ASAP Program a Cure for Teen Dropouts?

President Obama has asked states to raise the school dropout age to 18. But will this generate enough improvement to justify the cost? A brochure published by the Church of Scientology in March 2013 offers a program that just may hold the key to making this strategy work.

Over the past month, Kentucky, North Carolina and Minnesota joined the states that are rallying to President Obama’s call to raise the school dropout age—the minimum age a student may legally leave compulsory secondary education—to 18. Nationwide, only about 75 percent of students earn their high school diplomas, according to Alliance for Excellent Education projections that increasing the graduating rate to 90 percent would significantly enhance the quality of life of graduates and generate an additional $1.8 billion annually in tax revenues by bettering their earning potential.

A study published on the Brookings Institute website in September 2012 found approximately 10 percent of young adults enter the labor force without a high school credential and estimated that those who stay in school for one additional year have “a 10 percent increase in lifetime earnings, on average, and that the gains to graduating from high school may be even larger.” On the other hand, this study projects that keeping would-be dropouts in school could cost as much as $28,000 per student per year and that simply raising the dropout age is not enough—the study calls for “new efforts to support at-risk youth early in their educational careers.”

The Applied Scholastics Achievement Program, or ASAP, is such an initiative. It is designed to remedy past educational failures, making it possible for at-risk youth to catch up and graduate from high school. First, it identifies student skill levels. Then, using Study Technology developed by educator, humanitarian and Scientology Founder L. Ron Hubbard, it fills gaps in a student’s ability to grasp subject matter and apply what they have learned, enabling them to move forward in their studies independently.

ASAP is used widely in community tutoring programs and by traditional one-on-one tutors and the program also lends itself easily to use in schools as a supplement to mainline curriculum. Training in ASAP is available at the Applied Scholastics campus in St. Louis, Missouri.

The Applied Scholastics network is a fully independent, nondenominational organization supported by the Church of Scientology and by Scientologists. Applied Scholastics has trained over 135,000 educators from 42 nations who in turn have brought Study Technology to millions of colleagues and students. For more information on Applied Scholastics and ASAP, visit the Applied Scholastics website.

The Church of Scientology has published a new brochure Scientology: How We Help—Applied Scholastics, Achieving Literacy and Education, one of a series of publications presented to meet requests for more information about the Scientology religion and its support of global humanitarian initiatives and social betterment programs. For more information, visit the Scientology website at