Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation Postsecondary Success

Our vision is a U.S. higher education system that propels social mobility and economic development. We believe that you cannot achieve economic empowerment without academic achievement. That’s why the goal of the Postsecondary Success team is to ensure that students complete a postsecondary program that helps them support themselves, engage in their communities, and achieve their dreams.

Download Our Strategy Overview (PDF) →

Despite its deserved reputation as the great equalizer, the bridge to a better life that is higher education remains too narrow, too hard to navigate, and carries a toll too high for many Americans. The result? Too few are able to take advantage of the powerful opportunity on the other side. This is especially true for students from low-income backgrounds, those who are the first in their family to go to college, and students of color. Today, only one in 10 of young adults from the lowest income quartile will complete a certificate or degree by age 24.

Unless we dramatically improve student success in higher education, our nation will suffer from a shortage of skilled workers needed to ensure global competitiveness and national security. We are currently on track to produce at least 11 million fewer career-relevant certificates and degrees than our economy will require by 2025.

We work with partners to transform higher education models for colleges and universities so that more students – especially low-income and first-generation students – graduate at higher rates, with high-quality degrees or certificates at an affordable price.

Attainment graphic

Find out how we work with partners to solve some of the toughest problems in higher education by exploring the Grantees, How We Work, and Areas of Focus sections of our website.


Our Team

Patrick Methvin

Patrick Methvin oversees work to increase the number of students that acquire a postsecondary degree or certificate.
Read More >

Jennifer Engle
Deputy Director

Dr. Jennifer Engle leads the foundation’s efforts in postsecondary data, measurement, learning, and evaluation.
Read More >

Chrystie Hill
Deputy Director

Chrystie Hill leads the foundation’s efforts to identify and support intermediary organizations assisting colleges and universities in their comprehensive redesign strategies.
Read More >

Rahim Rajan
Deputy Director

Rahim Rajan leads the foundation’s efforts to develop and scale innovative tools and practices that promote greater access and success for postsecondary students.
Read More >

Natasha Fedo
Interim Deputy Director

Natasha Fedo leads the strategy, planning, and management work of the Postsecondary Success team.
Read More >