Kresge Continues Multi-Million Investment in College Access

July 25, 2014
Elizabeth Morgan, Director of External Relations

In the first half of 2014, the Kresge Foundation, based in Troy, MI, has awarded $4.9 million to nine organizations that advance college access for low-income students and students of color. Kresge Foundation is one of the largest national philanthropic supporters of the college access/success field. Most grantees are NCAN members (congratulations!) and represent strategies including near-peer advising, collective impact, venture philanthropy, earned income models, dual enrollment, and leveraging of AmeriCorps.

  • College Advising Corps ($750,000): Through this two-year grant, the corps is expanding its near-peer mentoring model in California, Michigan and Georgia to assist low-income and first-generation students in navigating the college admissions and financial aid processes.
  • College Forward ($600,000): This three-year grant will enable College Forward to expand its current pilot effort to offer fee-for-service advising to colleges and universities to help more low-income students persist in college.
  • College Possible ($500,000): This two-year grant will support 15,000 students in five cities with college access and success services.  
  • College Spring ($750,000): Through this three-year, first-time Kresge grant, the organization is expanding its programs in California and developing a national infrastructure that fosters long-term financial sustainability.
  • uAspire ($700,000): This two-year grant will enable uAspire to implement and scale its fee-for-service training and technical assistance programs in college financial aid advising for community-based organizations and college access professionals.
  • SoCalCAN ($300,000): Southern California College Access Network will receive general operating support over three years for its alliance of 50+ nonprofit organizations in Los Angeles County working to increase college access and success for low-income and minority students and to encourage institutional, local, and state policies that promote college completion. 
  • Yes We Must Coalition ($50,000): This coalition of 27 small, independent, nonprofit colleges and universities strives to increase low-income and underrepresented students’ college degree attainment.
  • Gateway to College National Network ($750,000):This three-year grant funds four initiatives designed to expand programs, improve student results and strengthen organizational leadership in creating postsecondary education pathways for opportunity youth (homeless and other hard-to-serve students), primarily through a dual-enrollment strategy.
  • New Profit ($500,000): New Profit is a venture philanthropy firm and recipient of a federal Social Innovation Fund grant to increase college attainment. This grant will provide six national college access and success organizations in the New Profit portfolio with the support needed to expand their programs and serve more high-need students.

“We salute these organizations for the progress they are making in serving ever-larger numbers of students in increasingly innovative and effective ways,” Caroline Altman Smith, Kresge Foundation senior program officer, said. “We also appreciate the lengths these organizations and their leaders go to share what they are learning so we can all benefit from their on-the-ground experience.” 

“These organizations are expanding college opportunities for low-income students by providing critical services such as financial aid advising and financial planning, standardized test preparation, and college choice advising,” Chera Reid, Kresge Foundation program officer, said. “Each grantee partner organization makes an important contribution to the national college completion agenda.”

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