The Rise Prize will provide support to ten innovative ideas aimed at advancing postsecondary success for students who are parents. Proposals can be for programs that support currently enrolled parents or that offer encouragement to those who may have "stopped out" out of school.
To that end, the prize will award grants of $50,000 in support of six early-stage ideas and grants of $200,000 to three mature-stage ideas, with one winner in each category to be selected by two student-parent judges.
According to Imaginable Futures, students with children represent nearly a quarter of the seventeen million students enrolled in undergraduate degree programs as well as a large portion of the millions of students in trade certificates, vocational training programs, or alternative college pathways. But while they tend to have higher GPAs, on average, than non-parent students, they stop out of school at higher rates than their non-parent peers and have more debt.
"Student-parents are thriving and are vital members of the postsecondary system," said Vinice Davis, a venture partner at Imaginable Futures. "But they are largely unseen and unsupported by college administrators, policy makers, and innovators, and so their needs often go unaddressed. We are hopeful that the Rise Prize will draw attention to the massive opportunity to address student-parents’ needs. When student-parents rise, we all rise."