In the fall of 2019, we officially launched By Degrees programing at Harding Middle School, where Findley students matriculate. One of the largest and most diverse schools in Iowa, Harding serves over 800 sixth through eighth grade students.


Our middle school programing builds on the work begun at Findley and includes all 800+ Harding students, regardless of where they attended elementary school.


"I want to be a photographer because I want to inspire people to always look and feel their best."

—  Tin Tin, College Class of 2027


Our Middle School Approach

College Visits

Every grade level at Harding Middle School visits a postsecondary institution each year. Students interact with professors and college students, and participate in postsecondary experiences in a variety of majors and degree programs. These visits introduce students to postsecondary life and the many educational pathways open to them upon high school graduation.

Our Harding Partners

Sixth Grade: DMACC Ankeny Campus

Seventh Grade: University of Northern Iowa

Eighth Grade: Central College

Career Exploration

Our robust career exploration curriculum combines career assessments with real-life experiences. Students learn about their career interests, skills, and work values, and our team creates impactful career exploration experiences in the central Iowa community that bring their interests to life.


During our annual career day, over 75 diverse professionals from different sectors teach students about their diverse careers and the pathways needed to pursue them. Students are introduced to electricians, journalists, business owners, and more!

College Savings Accounts

Every student at Harding Middle School receives the first $25 investment into a family-owned 529 college savings account. These accounts can be used to pay for postsecondary education (including 2-year, 4-year, technical/training, and advanced degrees).


These investments are made by the By Degrees Foundation and are available to all Harding Middle School students, regardless of where they attended elementary school or when they entered Harding. Parents and families can invest in these accounts and begin saving for postsecondary education.


We recognize the transformational impact incremental changes can make on a student’s life. Partnering with entire schools, we work to increase high school graduation and postsecondary readiness rates while engaging community partnerships to uplift students, families, and whole neighborhoods.


mailing: PO Box 41070

Des Moines, IA 50311




You'll receive quarterly newsletters, event updates, and program announcements

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© 2020 By Degrees Foundation