One Million Degrees empowers low-income, highly-motivated community college students to succeed in school, in work, and in life.
Formerly the Illinois Education Foundation, One Million Degrees was founded in 2006 by a group of social entrepreneurs who understood the specific challenges facing a uniquely overlooked student population – community college students.
Recognizing the fact that most of these students were failing and determined to change the odds, our founders developed a unique and highly successful program based on providing the kind of support that would make a meaningful difference.
One Million Degrees believes that when given a solid system of support, every student has the ability to reach his or her full personal and professional potential. Since 2006, One Million Degrees has helped empower hundreds of community college students to succeed in the classroom and beyond.
Today, One Million Degrees Scholars are graduating at roughly three times the national average and are equipped with the skills necessary to help them reach their full potential in school, in work, and in life.
Community college students are among the most important yet least supported of this country's undergraduate population. Community colleges offer pathways to meaningful careers and, often, an on-ramp to four-year universities. Yet, lacking critical resources, most students never graduate. It is stunning how little is available to this vital and vibrant group of students.
One Million Degrees changes the odds entirely. Our groundbreaking program – innovative, personalized, uniquely effective – delivers the kind of meaningful support that is transforming lives and creating a pattern of positive change that will echo for generations.
This is what works.
When one person gets a degree, it increases the chance that their children will too.
And their children's children. In communities where degrees are rare--communities in which our scholars live--the power of a single degree is profound. The effect of one degree resonates far beyond a scholar's own sphere to their neighbors, their communities and, ultimately, to the generations that follow.
A single degree can change the world.