The Indianapolis-based Lumina Foundation for Education has announced third-quarter grants totaling nearly $17 million to organizations in twenty-one states and the District of Columbia to enhance college access and success.
The grants will support efforts to prepare students academically, financially, and socially for success beyond high school; improve college completion rates; and increase higher education productivity and capacity to serve more students. Recipients include MDC in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, which was awarded three grants totaling nearly $3.3 million for its Achieving the Dream and Developmental Education initiatives and to sponsor a reception at the Grantmakers for Education conference; Ivy Tech Community College in Indianapolis, which received more than $2.3 million to improve attainment rates among at-risk youth through an accelerated associate degree program; and Washington, D.C.-based Complete College America, which was awarded $1 million in seed money.
In addition, the Bipartisan Policy Center in Washington, D.C., was awarded $994,700 to help create a market for higher education innovation; Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh received $750,000 to establish a consortium of community colleges that will work to develop a process to increase efficiency in the way instruction is developed, delivered, and continuously improved; and the Miller Center of Public Affairs in Charlottesville, Virginia, was awarded $750,000 to conduct and disseminate two national debates and supplemental outreach activities on issues of importance to higher education.
"Higher education attainment rates among certain population groups in this country — including adults, first-generation college going students, low-income students, and students of color — are significantly lower than those of other students," said Lumina Foundation president and CEO Jamie Merisotis. "These achievement gaps have endured for decades, and Lumina is working to stop that gap from widening."