The Indianapolis-based Lumina Foundation has announced grants totaling $11.1 million to organizations in nine states and the District of Columbia.
The grants will support organizations working to produce one of three outcomes the foundation believes will boost the number of Americans with high-quality degrees by 2025: preparation of students academically, financially, and socially for success beyond high school; improved college completion rates; and greater capacity among higher education institutions to serve more students. Grant recipients include the Washington, D.C.-based Association of American Colleges and Universities, which was awarded $2.2 million to assess degree qualifications in the context of student transfers; the Center for Law and Social Policy, which received a three-year, $1.5 million grant in support of an initiative designed to test operational and financing models for integrating benefits access at community colleges; Hispanics in Philanthropy, which was awarded $600,000 to help boost postsecondary education access and success for Latinos; and Goodwill Industries International, which received $550,000 to expand its community college career collaboration project.
The foundation also awarded $500,000 to the American Institutes for Research to bolster public access to studies of labor market success of college graduates by program and by campus; and $300,000 to the New America Foundation to create a postsecondary education national policy institute for congressional staff. In addition, the American Association of State Colleges and Universities received $212,000 in support of a college readiness partnership between the association, the Council of Chief State School Officers, and State Higher Education Executive Officers.
"Education, specifically higher education, is one of the most critical factors in our nation's long-term economic growth plans," said Lumina Foundation president and CEO Jamie Merisotis. "A dramatic increase in educational attainment must become a top national priority if we intend to build our labor pool and beat out other countries for the jobs of the future."