National college completion nonprofit will use general operations support to accelerate toward a new era of reform focused on improving completion and equity in student outcomes


INDIANAPOLIS (NOVEMBER 15, 2022) — Complete College America, the national non-profit organization on a mission to raise postsecondary attainment in the United States, announced today that the organization is the recipient of a significant donation from billionaire philanthropist Mackenzie Scott. Over the next three years, the grant will provide critical general operating support, helping the organization to scale its core operations focused on policy reform, evidence-based practice, and research and perspectives that advance the national conversation on student success.

Over the past three years, Scott and a team of researchers and philanthropic advisors used a rigorous, outcomes-based evaluation process to identify hundreds of high-impact advocacy organizations, institutions and community groups working to improve outcomes, particularly for historically-excluded students in higher education. 

“Given the challenges facing students and institutions today, continuing to increase completion rates will require relentless focus and a commitment to equity. This support will help to accelerate our progress toward cultivating stronger and more inclusive outcomes for all of today’s college students,” said Dr. Yolanda Watson Spiva, president of Complete College America. “We are deeply grateful for Ms. Scott’s generous contribution, which will help propel us into a new era of growth and impact at a time when students and communities need us most.”

Since its inception in 2009 by state policymaker and visionary higher education reformer Stan Jones, Complete College America has worked relentlessly to shift the national conversation on higher education to a focus on outcomes and college completion. Its Alliance of States has grown from an initial group of 17 members to a network of 49 states, systems, and consortia. The organization’s widely-adopted Game Changer strategies have been used by institutions, systems and even entire states to improve college completion rates and work to address some of the most complex and profound challenges in higher education.

“Every investment in our students and education tilts the scale toward a more equitable, inclusive and outcomes-focused system of higher education,” Dr. Robin Martin, president and CEO of Navigating Courage, Inc. and chair of Complete College America’s board. “Our Board of Directors would like to express our gratitude for Ms. Scott’s gift. We salute her deep and personal commitment to students and institutions who have far too often been overlooked and underinvested.”

To learn more about opportunities to support Complete College America’s mission, contact Dr. Dhanfu Elston, senior vice president for Strategy and chief of staff at Complete College America, at


About Complete College America: Complete College America (CCA) builds movements for scaled change and transforms institutions through data-driven policies, student-centered perspectives, and equity-driven practices. Since its founding in 2009, CCA connects a national network of forward-thinking state and higher education leaders and introduces bold initiatives to help states and institutions confront inequities, close institutional performance gaps, and increase college completion rates, especially for marginalized and historically excluded students. For more information, visit

Of and By — Medium Post by Mackenzie Scott