Scaling Grants

Our ultimate goal is to scale programs that we know work, moving from serving hundreds of students to thousands—if not tens of thousands. Scaling grants pave the way to lasting change.

These grants typically run for multiple years—with step-down funding—and are designed to give our partners time to institutionalize financial support without disrupting the services they provide.


Strengthening Prison Learning Programs

Strengthening prison learning programs

Practitioners of higher education in prison have long recognized a need for a centralized set of resources that could help strengthen their programs. This grant supports the launch of a national organization that will advance the field and serve as a hub for these resources.

Fast-Tracking the UW System Math Initiative

UW Math Initiative

Starting college on the right foot includes choosing an area of study, passing relevant gateway classes and making sure credits will transfer to a specific degree program. But conventional approaches to math placement and requirements trip up far too many first-year students. The University of Wisconsin System Math Initiative aims to boost student achievement with evidence-based, systemwide reform.

Madison College South Campus Grant

Building opportunity in an underserved community

Madison College’s new campus will improve access to education and community services for underrepresented residents of the city’s south side. Our pledge ensures the facility will be ready for action in the fall of 2019—four years ahead of schedule.

Making Reverse Transfer Easier

Making reverse transfer easier

Many students who've transferred to a four-year institution would be eligible for a credential if credits could be transferred back to the community college they previously attended.

UIA Completion Grants

Paid invoice

Working with universities to ensure that a small unpaid campus bill is not a barrier for at-risk students nearing graduation.

Strong Start to Finish

Strong start to finish building momentum for post secondary success logo

Focusing on the way students enter college and progress through the first year to propel them to earn degrees and credentials.

WTCS Student Success Center

National network expands to wisconsin

Moving the needle on two-year college completion requires integration of varied student success efforts. We're partnering with Jobs for the Future to bring the national Student Success Center model to Wisconsin's technical colleges.

Dash Emergency Grant

Unexpected expenses can create financial strain, leanding to dropped classes or dropping out altogether

For low-income college students, unexpected expenses like car repairs or medical bills often lead to dropping out. But these micro-grants can quickly and effectively change that.

Achieving the Dream™ Coaching Grant

Supporting new and enhanced coaching services

Achieving the Dream's network of colleges will now receive more customized support for reform efforts aimed at increasing student success.

Dana Center New Mathematics Pathways Grant

Different pathways for each person

Nearly all college students take algebra by default, but only half pass the class. The New Mathways Project challenges the status quo with three math pathways to boost student achievement and support their career goals.

Career Ready Internship Grant

22 million dollars committed to this program to date

Internships improve graduation rates and job prospects, but are often unpaid and impossible for students needing a paying job. This grant creates PAID internships exclusively for these students.

Carnegie Math Pathways

Three times the success in half the time

Statway® and Quantway® are new ways of teaching math—and they blow traditional dev ed completion rates out of the water. So we're learning what it takes to convince more community colleges to make the switch.

Teens of Promise (TOPS)

College going rate: more than 80 percent

Combine rigorous tutoring, steady mentoring and summer internship experiences and you get more engaged high schoolers. You also get a significant majority going on to college.

NCAN FAFSA Completion Challenge

25 Cities Chosen

Twenty-five cities have accepted NCAN’s challenge to increase community wide FAFSA completion rates by at least 5 percentage points for the high school class of 2019 over the class of 2018. Great Lakes and The Kresge Foundation are supporting the NCAN initiative with $1 million grants each.

College Promise Success Initiative

Tuition plus support equals success

By offsetting the cost of tuition, College Promise programs make it easier for students from low-income backgrounds to enroll. But many students face obstacles beyond financial need. This project is exploring the impact of adding proven interventions to increase student success.

Text Steps Project

Have you signed up for orientation?

Texting reminders to high school grads over the summer keeps more on track for college in the fall. We’re making startup grants to Wisconsin school districts so they can launch text nudging programs and improve on-time college enrollment rates.

College Confidence Project

As many as one in three college freshman drop out

*Snapshot Report – First-Year Persistence and Retention, National Student Clearinghouse Research Center, 2017

To help freshman women successfully tackle the challenges of transitioning into college life, we're funding the creation of an online support community designed to build confidence and increase persistence.

Aligning Education and Employment Equity

Local labor demand with equitable degree programs

We're supporting the Aspen Institute as they develop practical tools to help community colleges nationwide strengthen employer collaborations.

Crafting Better Academic Probation Letters

Revising probation notification to help more students graduate

College Transition Collaborative is working to develop and share guidance with colleges about how to craft financial aid probation letters that meet federal requirements and convey their commitment to helping students succeed.

Tools of the Trade Apprentice Scholarships

1.1 million dollars awarded to apprentices to date

Apprenticeships lead to good jobs, but for many it's a rocky financial road getting there, with little aid and big expenses for equipment and clothing. But $1,500 makes the going easier.

Improving Latino Student Success

Graduation rate 26% latino versus 54% white

*The Condition of Education, NCES, April 2017

Latino students are less likely to earn a postsecondary degree than any other ethnicity. To help narrow the achievement gap, we're funding Excelencia in Education as they implement proven completion strategies at eight Hispanic Serving Institutions (HSIs).

Guided Pathways Reform

Keeping students on the path to graduation

According to the National Student Clearinghouse Research Center, only 39% of community college students graduate within six years. There are many initiatives currently underway to improve that number, and one of the most promising is guided pathways, a more efficient, well-defined path through college that can increase graduation rates.

APLU Completion Grant

Finish line flag

APLU has proven that small grants—often just a few hundred dollars—can help low-income students finish college. Together with Lumina Foundation, we're funding college completion grants on nine college campuses.

CIRTL Network

80 percent of stem PhDs in the U.S. are granted at only one hundred research universities

By preparing STEM graduate students to be effective in both lab and classroom, we hope to prevent many talented undergrads from leaving STEM majors due to uneven teaching quality.

College PossibleTM

Five times more likely to graduate

Earning a college degree can break the cycle of poverty. Making it possible for thousands more low-income students: intensive coaching and support that follows them from high school through college.