About Us


To increase the number of adults completing college in the Greater Philadelphia region, by engaging business, higher education, government, organized labor, workforce and economic development, community building organizations, social service providers, and college graduates to align existing resources, remove barriers, and create new pathways for adults to complete a college degree.

Watch how Comebackers Gladys Sistrunk, Ashabi Rich and Tarik McClain navigated their path back to college

Why Our Work is Important

  • Helping an adult complete a college degree allows them to find a better job and have more job security, in good and bad economic times, oftentimes lifting up their entire family out of poverty.
  • Adults who started college but never finished are closer to graduating than youth, boosting workforce outcomes almost immediately while expanding the tax base.
  • The single largest risk factor for youth dropping out of high school and not succeeding in college is not having an adult in the home with a college degree. Every adult we help, helps the young people in their lives complete high school and college.


Since 2005:

  • More than 6,200 adults have received one-on-one advising services and over 30,000 adults have received information about our services. Over 2,500 adults have gone back to college with Graduate! Philadelphia’s help and over 1,000 two or four year degrees have been conferred. Many of our alumni are continuing on to their next degree.
  • Graduate! Philadelphia has increased awareness of the benefits of including adult completion as a regional strategy for economic development, workforce talent, and strengthening communities.
  • Through joint investment, the work of stakeholders, and Comebackers themselves, Graduate! Philadelphia has increased the number of adults in Philadelphia and beyond with a college degree.
  • We provide FREE OF CHARGE advising, guidance, coaching and supports to adults who seek to return to college, from the decision to return to completion of a college degree.