We work to increase college access and success while reducing inequitable student outcomes in the U.S. and South Africa.
Education Program grant dollars awarded in 2020
Earning a quality postsecondary education is the surest pathway to increased opportunity and economic mobility among graduates.
Bachelor’s degree recipients earn on average $1 million more over their lifetimes than high school graduates. Degree attainment is also a key component of self-determination and can help graduates positively shape their circumstances. But while more people are entering college, and graduation rates have improved in recent years, racial, ethnic and socioeconomic inequities persist.
We lead with equity as we work to help increase college access and success, advance economic mobility and strengthen urban communities. We do this by funding organizations and networks of institutions that prioritize improving the educational outcomes and experiences of students we care most about – people with low-incomes, especially those living in cities, and underrepresented racial and ethnic groups, including first-generation, Black, Latino, Asian-Pacific Islander, Native American, veterans and immigrant students.
We Invest in These Focus Areas
We advance our mission through these focus areas.
We scale evidence-based practices to help students with low incomes better navigate the college admissions process.
We support efforts to strengthen institutions that make it their primary mission to educate the students we serve.
We seek to strengthen coordination between educational institutions and urban systems to help more students succeed in college.
These targeted funding efforts help us advance our priorities often through cohorts of grantees.
Connecting people with low incomes to critical human services supports and educational and career pathways to advance social and economic mobility.
This initiative helps South Africa’s public universities strengthen their data analytics capacity to increase student success.
Helping colleges, transit agencies and researchers identify, address and evaluate transportation solutions for students.
Shaping Equitable and Sustainable College Promise Programs
Funding for the Education Program
We invite proposals supporting research, policy advocacy, evaluation, technology, partnerships and direct services that represent one or more of the following: networks of institutions; potential for broad scalability or replicability; potential to lead to systemic changes; or potential for long-term sustainability. We also support technological or practice enhancements that effectively improve student success and decrease costs.
We work across the country, but prioritize funding in: Kresge Foundation focus cities of Detroit, Memphis or New Orleans; cities within our Education Program focus states of California, Florida, Michigan, and Texas; other large cities or state-wide initiatives; and South Africa, the only country where Kresge makes grants outside of the U.S.
How to Apply
Education Grants Made
Education Social Investments Made
Program Team Assistant