Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation Postsecondary Success

December 4, 2017

Episode 12: Looking Back, Looking Ahead

Looking Back, Looking Ahead explores higher education’s major federal and state issues and key players of 2017, as well as the outlook for 2018.

Additional Resources

Limited Means, Limited Options: College Remains Unaffordable for Many Americans

The Potential of Degree Reclamation

A Blueprint for Better Information: Recommendations For a Federal Postsecondary Student-Level Data Network

Leading with Data: How Senior Institution and System Leaders Use Postsecondary Data to Promote Student Success

Private in Name Only: Lessons from the Defunct Guaranteed Student Loan Program

Measuring Quality or Subsidy? How State Appropriations Rig the Federal Gainful Employment Test

To Save or Borrow: Comparing Federal Benefits for 529 College Savings Plans and Student Loan Forgiveness

Overview of the Student Success Center Network and Guided Pathways

Overview of the Postsecondary State Policy Network

Redesigning State Financial Aid: Principles to guide state aid policymaking

Attainment Goals and Plans

Advanced Placement Access and Success: How do rural schools stack up?


Michelle Asha Cooper is the president of the Institute for Higher Education Policy (IHEP), which champions access and success for all students in postsecondary education.




Jason Delisle, a resident fellow at the American Enterprise Institute (AEI), studies the history and mechanics of federal student loans and other financial aid policies. He works on budget process reforms that address financial risk in government programs, including fair-value accounting for loan programs.



Michael Lawrence Collins is vice president of Building Educational Pathways at Jobs for the Future (JFF), a national nonprofit whose mission is to create economic opportunity for all. He leads JFF’s Postsecondary State Policy Network, a 17-state collaborative that advances policies and practices that accelerate student completion and success in the labor market.



Brian Sponsler is vice president of policy and director for the Postsecondary and Workforce Development at Education Commission of the States.  He oversees the strategic direction of the institute’s work, leads the policy-research portfolio, and manages partner relations.




Moderator Bio

Casey Green

Casey Green, the moderator and co-producer of To A Degree, is the founding director of The Campus Computing Project, the largest continuing study of eLearning and information technology in American higher education. Check out his blog, Digital Tweed, and follow him on Twitter at @DigitalTweed.



To A Degree is produced for the Bill & Melinda Gates foundation by G2 Education. Jinny Goldstein, the co-founder of G2Ed, is the executive producer of To A Degree.