OneGoal Receives Historic Gift from Philanthropist MacKenzie Scott

By Melissa Connelly
November 9, 2022

Dear OneGoal Community,

The pandemic has caused a significant disruption in learning over the past two years. As a result, students today face even greater barriers to postsecondary education. To address the challenges they face, OneGoal has launched a new plan to reimagine postsecondary advising and support to ensure every young person has an equitable opportunity to achieve their greatest aspiration. We are working diligently to eliminate opportunity gaps for young people from low-income communities across the country.

At OneGoal, we are proud of what we have accomplished in our first 15 years. We have grown from a small after-school program to a nationally recognized leader in the postsecondary success space. Our Fellows consistently enroll and persist at a rate of 10-20 percentage points higher than their peers and are 1.5 times more likely to ultimately earn a degree. However, with the nation’s higher education enrollment crisis and shifts in the global economy, we know now is the time to do more.

I’m honored to announce that philanthropist MacKenzie Scott has made a $20 million unrestricted, one-time gift to OneGoal in support of our ambitious plan. This incredible commitment to advancing equity in postsecondary advising and completion will both help to ensure our program is more effective for the students with the most significant academic barriers and expand our work through our OneGoal Leadership Network. I am grateful Ms. Scott has chosen to invest in our community of students and educators to close the degree divide in our lifetime.

We know that ambition and talent are equally distributed among students in this country, but opportunity is not. Students across all economic strata aspire to earn a postsecondary degree or credential at similar rates. Still, only 22% of students from low-income communities earn a postsecondary degree, compared to 67% of their high-income peers. Too many students—the vast majority of whom are students of color—are left to confront economic, academic, and social barriers that make it difficult to achieve their greatest postsecondary ambitions. As part of our 2025 strategic plan, we are committed to ensuring our Fellows earn their degrees at twice the rate of their peers. We also seek to influence system-wide changes in high school districts nationwide. Ms. Scott’s gift is a significant contribution to our $105 million fundraising campaign to fuel this critical work.

A more equitable future for our students will require a broad, diverse coalition of partners. We are grateful for Ms. Scott’s leadership and hope others will join us. Together, we will pursue ambitious, meaningful outcomes that lead to the change we seek for our Fellows. Together, we will solve our nation’s greatest challenges.

With gratitude,

Melissa Connelly
Learn more about OneGoal’s approach to supporting young people here.