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We believe in the promise of a better life no matter where you started – and the power of education and training beyond high school to transform the lives of learners from low-income backgrounds.

Learn More About Our Funding Strategy
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Our Focus Areas

We know learners from low-income backgrounds have the same abilities as high-income learners. Ascendium is working to change postsecondary and workforce training systems so that low-income learners have the same opportunities for academic and career success. To that end, we award exploration, validation and scaling grants in four focus areas that foster upward social mobility.


We hope our work contributes to a future where more learners from low-income backgrounds reach their education and career goals, equity gaps are eliminated and all postsecondary learning is valued and validated.

To assess the progress of our strategy on the changes we seek, we monitor data points related to first-year persistence, degree and credential completion, time to completion and job placement. 

News and Updates

September 23, 2021 Newsletter

Ascendium Looking to Hire Passionate People Wanting to Make Impactful Change, Q&A with Program Officers Shares Insight into Supporting Adult Learners

  • Ascendium’s Grantmaking Team Strives for Impactful Change and Is Looking for Individuals Who Share this Passion
  • Investing in Projects that Support Adult Learners
  • Grant Explores Meaningful Workforce Partnerships
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August 19, 2021 Newsletter

New National Rural Postsecondary Research Agenda available, Washington Consortium One Year After Maintain Momentum Grant and More

  • National Rural Postsecondary Research Agenda Now Available
  • At One-Year Mark, Washington Consortium is Maintaining Momentum
  • New Media Partnerships Spotlight Topics in Postsecondary Education
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July 22, 2021 Newsletter

Rural community colleges respond to health crisis, a look at non-traditional models for students transitioning from training to the workforce and more

  • Resources Help Rural Community Colleges in Aftermath of COVID-19 Health Crisis
  • An Interest in Innovation: New Grants Explore Non-Traditional Models
  • Keith Witham Named Ascendium’s New Deputy Director - Education Grantmaking
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