The Lenfest Foundation has donated a $750,000 to fund city efforts to increase the number of residents who complete college. The grant will fund the work of the PhillyGoes2College Office overseen by the Mayor's Office of Education.

"In Philadelphia, college graduates earn more than twice as much as high school graduates and ultimately strengthen our workforce," Nutter said.

When he came into office in 2008, only 18 percent of city adults had a college degree, Nutter said.

Today that percentage has risen to 21 percent. But the goal to to boost the "college attainment" level to 36 percent by 2018, the mayor said.

"This is an investment in Philadelphia's future," H.G. "Gerry" Lenfest said.