The nation’s postsecondary education system faces a convergence of powerful and challenging forces. One is economic, as the demand for more and different credentials beyond high school continues to rise, testing the capacity of existing providers.
A second is fiscal, as a slow and uneven recovery of state revenues, restrained federal spending, and increasing pressure to contain tuition levels are forcing a growing number of campuses to face difficult decisions about the sustainability of their business models moving forward.
Third, changing demographics are bringing more of the students who have faced the greatest hurdles to access and success to our campuses –low-income and first generation students, students of color, and working adults. This convergence will force a fundamental rethinking of how institutions and systems do their business, as well as the policy environment in which they operate, if postsecondary education is to live up to its promise as an engine of social mobility and economic development.
Against this backdrop, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, through its Postsecondary Success Strategy, is working with educators, innovators, and policymakers to confront and leverage these forces as opportunities for change. In policy advocacy, we work at the federal and state levels to increase awareness of policies and practices that are helping to increase student access and success and bridge attainment gaps.
Learn more by reading our latest Postsecondary Success Advocacy Priorities white paper.
Visit our What We’re Learning page to read the latest news, trends, and reports in Policy and Advocacy.