We seek to help postsecondary institutions that focus primarily on the needs of low-income and underrepresented students by increasing their capacity to carry out their missions and better serve students.
Focus Area Overview
We recognize that all colleges and universities enroll low-income and underrepresented students. Our target institutions make it their primary mission to support these students and address the special challenges they face. We support efforts to give those institutions the resources they need to expand their reach, impact, and ability to help students succeed.
We support organizations and networks of institutions that focus on low-income, first-generation, African American, Latino, Asian American and Pacific Islander, and Native American students and other underrepresented students:
- Community colleges
- Historically black colleges and universities
- Hispanic-serving institutions
- Tribal colleges and universities
- Asian American and Pacific Islander-serving institutions
- Title III and Title V institutions
- Special-mission institutions
By supporting efforts that reduce operating costs, enhance institutional sustainability or effectiveness, and improve student persistence, we hope to help these institutions fulfill their missions. We are interested in projects that have broad, meaningful impact beyond the boundaries of any one campus. Our goal is to fund programs that strengthen and promote:
- Community engagement.
- Curriculum development.
- Campus environmental sustainability and energy savings.
- Back-office cost-cutting.
- Facilities management/campus environmental sustainability.
- Leadership training.
- Student persistence.
- Technology-based innovation such as online teaching and e-counseling.
We have a two-step application process that begins with an inquiry, submitted via an online application system.
Part 1, the preliminary application, contains a data-entry component and several attachments, including a narrative explanation of the proposed work.
If the activity you describe fits one or more of our strategic priorities and our budget, we then request additional information through our online application system. This will constitute Part 2 of the application process.
We accept and review inquiries on an ongoing basis.
Who may apply?
- U.S. 501(c)(3) organizations, except private foundations
- International 501(c)(3) equivalents
- Government entities
Who may not apply?
- Organizations that discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, gender, national origin, citizenship status, age, disability, sexual orientation or veteran status
- Organizations that require membership in certain religions or advance a particular religious faith (Faith-based organizations may be eligible if they welcome and serve all members of the community regardless of religious belief.)
- Programs operated to benefit for-profit organizations
We rarely fund:
- Programs at individual colleges or universities.
- Capital projects.
- Organizations with budgets of less than $1 million a year.
We do not fund projects outside the United States or South Africa.