Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation Postsecondary Success

Graduation season is a time of celebration for many students and their families. Watching a college graduation ceremony, students’ pride is palpable—their hard work has paid off! Students know that completing some type of education after high school has become essential to securing a well-paying job.

Unfortunately, about half of all students who begin college don’t make it to graduation and there are significant graduation gaps by race and income.

QUIZ: Check Your Knowledge of Today’s College Students→

Why aren’t more students making it to graduation? Part of the picture is the changing day-to-day experiences of college students. Four in 10 of today’s college students are 25 or older, more than one-quarter of them have children, nearly two-thirds of them are working while enrolled, and one-third of them come from households earning $20,000 or less per year. These students are juggling work, family, and studies.

Graduation Celebration

Transforming Higher Ed

College students reflect on the challenges they face and their motivation to succeed. By transforming education after high school to meet the needs of students, Sinclair Community College is helping graduates succeed and Dayton, Ohio rebuild.


Leading colleges and universities are implementing innovative solutions to meet the evolving needs of today’s college students, such as: simplifying financial aid, creating pathways for student success, leveraging digital learning, and improving credit transfer. With so many varied backgrounds and paths, each student’s journey to graduation is truly as unique as they are. Working with partner institutions, we work to ensure that more students have the support they need to make it to graduation.


Blog Posts:

“Celebrating Today’s College Graduates – and the Solutions That Help Get Them To Graduation,” Allan Golston, President, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation

“The Path to a Meaningful Life,” Sue Desmond-Hellmann, CEO, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation

“The Power and Peril of Myth for Today’s College Students,” Dan Greenstein, Director, Postsecondary Success, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation


Related Content:
* Varying Degrees: New America’s Annual Survey on Higher Education
* Today’s College Students
* “Leading Change for Changing Leaders”, by Dan Greenstein