Why 10,000 Degrees®

“The single biggest ticket to a life of opportunity is a college degree. When one low-income student is first in their family to graduate from college, the cycle of poverty is broken for that family and for future generations. Our communities, our state, and the whole world become better places.”

~Kim Mazzuca, President & CEO of 10,000 Degrees®

Learn more about our Mission, Vision and Values.

18,700 graduates

Just as the negative effects of poverty are cyclical and multi-generational, the positive effects of opportunity are as well. We believe that we are creating that cycle of opportunity through our 18,700 graduates.

By their example and by their actions they are changing the world.

How We’re Different

We develop solutions with people, not for people.

Unparalleled College Completion

Low Income
National Average
From Affluent Families
10,000 Degrees Alumni

Sources: 2011 Pell Institute Fact Sheet*; Postsecondary Education Opportunity, Mortenson, 2010

How do we achieve such results?

A high-touch, individualized college counseling & financial aid advising program for our students begins early in high school and follows them through college graduation.

Our Efficiency

Greater Community Impact Through Alumni


Our alumni return to work with 10,000 Degrees® in postgraduate fellowships, volunteer positions, and as full-time staff. Their experiences raise hopes and lend credibility within their communities in ways that outsiders cannot.

More Funding for Students

We award $2.6 million in scholarships annually to low-income, first generation students who would never otherwise be able to consider going to college. We also help them find additional non-loan aid from a variety of sources.

$2.6 million

Awarded by 10,000 Degrees®

$14.4 million

Total free financial aid found/awarded to 10,000 Degrees® students


Average package of non-loan aid per 10,000 Degrees® student

That reduces the amount our students need to borrow. Despite being from the lowest income bracket, here’s how their average loans per year stack up:

Average amount of loans taken out per year

10,000 Degree Students