Strong Start To Finish

We can direct the future of higher education to create equity, with the help of our generous partners, and future investors, like you.

Initial funds have been provided by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Ascendium Education Group and the Kresge Foundation. As we work together to support students at the highest risk of failure, additional investments are encouraged.

Guided by the belief that every life has equal value, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation works to help all people lead healthy, productive lives. In the United States, it seeks to ensure that all people—especially those with the fewest resources—have access to the opportunities they need to succeed in school and life. The Foundation's vision is a U.S. higher education system that propels social mobility and economic development.



Ascendium's philanthropic mission is to elevate opportunities and outcomes for learners from low-income backgrounds so they can better achieve postsecondary educational and career success. Its grantmaking focuses on increasing equity for low-income populations, especially those in historically underrepresented groups: first-generation students, incarcerated adults, rural community members, students of color and veterans. Ascendium's funding supports innovative ideas (exploration), the creation of an evidence base (validation), and the expansion and replication of effective practices to spark sustainable, systemic improvement (scaling).

The Kresge Foundation

The Kresge Foundation is a $3.6 billion private, national foundation that works to expand opportunities in America’s cities through grantmaking and social investing in arts and culture, education, environment, health, human services and community development in Detroit. In 2015, the Board of Trustees approved 370 grants totaling $125.2 million, and nine social investment commitments totaling $20.3 million.