New research released at the end of May identifies ways that impact investors can help more low-income students graduate with postsecondary degrees and help fill America’s talent gap.

The report, funded by the Kresge Foundation and the Lumina Foundation, identified strategic opportunities in which philanthropic and other impact investors could play a critical role in this field. The report identifies several barriers and funding gaps, and highlights opportunities to deploy different forms of capital—including mission-related and program-related investments—to support America’s need for talented, skilled workers, while addressing challenges such as the increasing cost of education, the changing demographics of students and the rise of enabling technologies.

Specifically, the study offers a framework that segments the postsecondary education market into four categories—learners, faculty, places of learning and employers—and then suggests various investment opportunities across those four areas within a variety of asset classes, such as commercial debt, private equity, venture capital and others.

To read the report in full, visit