Great Lakes Announces New Grants in Midwest

July 25, 2014
Elizabeth Morgan, Director of External Relations

On July 10, Great Lakes Higher Education Guaranty Corporation announced $8.8 million in grants to college ready and college success programs in Iowa, Minnesota, Ohio, and Wisconsin. The goal of Great lakes is to reverse non-completion rates for those with the most to gain by graduating from college – students from low-income households, students of color, and students who are first in their families to attend.
“We are called to action by the mounting evidence that too many of these students enroll in college underprepared academically, and too many leave before earning the degree, diploma, or certificate they set out to earn,” Richard D. George, president and CEO of Great Lakes, said. “We fund programs that understand the root cause of what holds students back, and take bold steps to overcome these obstacles. “

Statistics show that 60 percent of community college students are academically underprepared and need remedial courses. Of these students, only one in four completes a degree or certificate. Results are also poor for students who struggle early in college.  Students placed on academic probation during their freshman years are 82 percent less likely to graduate in five years that those not on probation. 

Great Lakes awarded 56 grants to colleges and community-based organizations that have outlined a comprehensive set of activities and services designed to prepare high school students to succeed in college-level work—and keep college students on track for program completion even when they struggle.  Nearly 13,000 students will get added support in their drive to complete college through the grants during 2014-15.

Grants ranged in size from $43,876 to the Vera Court Neighborhood Center in Madison, WI, to $1,166,676 to College Possible for its Milwaukee and Twin Cities locations. 

Grants were awarded in four categories:

  • College Ready Grants: Ten grants totaling $1.3 million will provide rigorous extracurricular instruction in math and English to help underperforming high school juniors, seniors, and adult learners catch up and be prepared for college-level courses.
  • College Success Grants: Nineteen organizations will receive $2.7 million to identify struggling first-year college students early and connect them with existing tutoring, advising, mentoring, and counseling programs that can keep them on track for graduation.
  • College Ready and College Success Continuation Grants:  Based on proven success with last year’s grants, 27 organizations will receive $4.8 million to continue and refine their programs. 
Since 2006, Great Lakes has committed more than $100 million to programs that help students from traditionally underserved backgrounds start and complete a two-year or four-year degree or other credential. 

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