The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation has announced grants totaling $3.3 million to fourteen organizations working to improve financial aid solutions.
The grants will be used to explore recommendations for improving access to postsecondary financial aid so more students can attend and succeed in college and earn postsecondary degrees and credentials. They were awarded as part of the Reimagining Aid Design and Delivery (RADD) project, which seeks to shift the national conversation on federal financial aid toward ideas designed to make college more affordable while giving students the support and encouragement they need to earn a degree or credential; and to seed the field with innovative policies that can make that happen. The project will culminate in the publication of a series of white papers offering different perspectives on how financial aid can help more students succeed in college, with the goal of sparking a robust discussion around the subject of financial aid as a lever to increase student success, especially for low- and middle-income students.
The RADD grantees are the Alliance for Excellent Education, the Association of Public and Land-Grant Universities, the Center for Law and Social Policy, the Committee for Economic Development, Excelencia in Education, HCM Strategists, the Institute for Higher Education Policy, the National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators, the National College Access Network, the New America Foundation, the Education Trust, the Institute for College Access and Success, the Institute for a Competitive Workforce, and Young Invincibles.
"We believe financial aid is an important piece of the completion puzzle," said Daniel Greenstein, director of the postsecondary success strategy at the Gates Foundation. "Not only does it open doors for students, but when done right, financial aid can also increase the likelihood that young adults complete their educations. There is a lot to learn and we're excited about beginning the conversation and finding out what the research will discover."