University Innovation Alliance Receives $5.7 Million in Grants

The University Innovation Alliance, a newly formed consortium of large public research universities, has announced grants totaling $5.7 million from six national foundations to increase the number of low-income students earning a college degree.

The grants from USA Funds and the Ford, Gates, KresgeLumina, and Markle foundations will support the alliance's efforts to test and disseminate proven education innovations and help U.S. colleges and universities improve the retention and graduation rates of their students. The founding members of the alliance will match the grants and work to share ideas and scale interventions that help low-income and first-generation college students succeed.

The eleven members of the alliance are Arizona State, Georgia State, Iowa State, Michigan State, Oregon State, Purdue, and Ohio State universities, and the universities of California, Riverside, Central Florida, Kansas, and Texas at Austin.

"There is a lot of talk about disruption in higher education. We think that the real disruption will come through collaboration," said Michael Crow, UIA chair and president of Arizona State University. "Colleges typically are forced to compete for students, research support, and top spots on college rankings. While there are many institutions that have come up with creative solutions to some of our sector's most urgent problems, those ideas rarely travel far from where they are hatched."