What if every person who didn’t finish college had the resources

to come back and earn a degree?

Why It Matters!


There are 36 million individuals in the United States with some college credit but no degree. We call them the Comebackers. Many stopped out because of a mismatch with the college or university they started attending, difficulties balancing family and life issues with school, finances or debt. Now, they are barred from many jobs with good pay that require a college credential, their children have no role models for college completion at home, and they may still carry the stigma of failure.


By 2020 65% of all jobs will require college education. Time is running out for regions relying solely on a K-12 pipeline, and not all cities are magnets for recent college grads. Comebackers immediately infuse the regional talent shed with their new skills and expertise.


Increasing the number of adults with degrees has a generational multiplier effect: When an adult earns a degree the youth in their household are three times more likely to finish high school, go to college and earn a degree themselves.

Community by community and state by state, The Graduate! Network is leading a growing national movement to increase college completion among adults

Our Vision:

Every adult who aspires to earn a college degree has access to the resources and supports they need to start and complete their degree.

Our Mission:

We believe everyone should have an equitable chance to achieve the education and career they desire.  The Graduate! Network collaborates with a range of stakeholders to build, nurture, and assess structures and systems that support adults to attend and complete their college degrees.

Our Approach:

The Graduate! Network works with civic leadership; partners in higher education, economic and community development, the corporate community, organized labor, and workforce development; and Comebackers toward a future where there are established and sustainable services in every community that support all adults to and through college.

Funding for our programs is provided by: