80% READY BY 2030


When every student is achieving at high levels, the rising tide will lift all of us toward a more equitable and prosperous future.

Today across New England, only 50% of high school students are graduating with the skills and knowledge necessary to succeed after high school. Additionally, only 32% of low-income students are graduating college and career ready. Furthermore, while there is progress being made, the gaps between low-income students and non-low income students and between Hispanic and non-Hispanic students continue to grow.

Given the urgency of the need, our work is organized around a simple by visionary goal moving forward: universal post-secondary attainment supported by universal college and career readiness for all New England public school graduates. The Foundation is investing $200 million over the next five years as a first bold step towards this critical goal.
As a part of this goal, the Foundation has set a target of ensuring that 80% of New England students are college and career ready by 2030. Our grantmaking is organized into four initiatives that set out to advance this readiness target. Ensuring that 80% of New England students are college and career ready by 2030 is a challenging goal, and too large for any one group to tackle on its own. We all have a stake in ensuring that more students graduate high school prepared for what’s next.

We’re working to advance student-centered approaches to learning across New England to ensure that all students are prepared for life after high school. You can learn more by reading our Theory of Change below - Leading the Way Toward a More Prosperous, Equitable New England.

We know that if we truly want to prepare all of New England’s students to succeed, we need to focus on where the need and opportunity gaps are. This means thinking more deliberately about how our organization serves low-income students and students of color. Over the past year, our organization has been deeply immersed in a racial equity assessment process. This process, in conjunction with other key insights from our staff, Board, and the field, has led us to start a strategy review process.


Traditional strategic planning processes at foundations are often lack transparency. Our intention is to avoid such a design. In the coming months, our CEO and staff plan to share regular, public updates on our strategy process through our blog on Medium. We hope you will follow our journey and share your insights and feedback with us!

Our Journey
What’s Next For The Nellie Mae Education Foundation?
6 Things We’ve Learned Through An Equity Assessment Process