College Knowledge

for the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation

A visualization of the factors behind tragically low college completion rates and stimulus for innovators to tackle the challenge.

The Challenge

Move more students from aspiration to graduation

95% of low-income middle schoolers aspire to attend college but only 8% actually graduate. How can we reveal what’s happening in a way that will inspire innovation in the right places?

The solution

A map that inspires innovation

We identified the root causes of student success and created an infographic that makes them easy to understand. We performed “what if” exercises to spark creative thinking for a Facebook hackathon and prize competition which focused on using tech to get students not just to college — but through it.

INHIBITING DYNAMICS: Negative behaviors, beliefs and environmental factors reduce the likelihood that students earn a 2- or 4-year degree. How can these factors be mitigated?

SUPPORTING DYNAMICS: Positive behaviors, beliefs and environmental factors help explain why some students, most of them from wealthier households, successfully earn a 2- or 4-year degree. What if all students had these supports?

Impact by the numbers

Studies reviewed
inspirational company profiles
challenges for silicon valley to tackle

Help for a hackathon

Two in-depth infographics helped hackathon participants understand the challenges faced by low-income students who are trying to attend college. Both are available online in Prezi form. We hope you’ll find them useful, too.

Dynamics Affecting Student Success

Opportunities to Enhance Student Success

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