White House Grants to Nonprofit Organizations Help Low-income Students Earn College Degrees

New funding for Kresge education partners bolsters efforts to improve access to higher education and student success.

Troy, Michigan
Originally released March 3, 2011

Three organizations supported by The Kresge Foundation have won funding through the White House’s Social Innovation Fund and New Profit Inc. for programs that help low-income young people get to college and stay to graduate.

The three groups are Single Stop USA, National College Advising Corps and College Summit.

The new grants will support efforts that surround low-income students with positive peer influences, help them apply to colleges, and get financial aid and services that keep them afloat while they work toward degrees.

On our end it’s very gratifying,” said Kresge Education Program Officer Caroline Altman Smith. “We’ve only been making grants in support of access and success for about two years, so it’s validating that our partners are being recognized for their extraordinary work. We are delighted that these fast-growing organizations will have the resources they need to create even more opportunities for students to achieve their educational dreams.

One of six programs within the foundation, Kresge’s Education Program supports efforts to raise the number of college graduates in the United States by making higher education a viable, accessible option for low-income and underserved students.

Single Stop USA, National College Advising Corps and College Summit will receive their grants through New Profit, a venture philanthropy fund, which was awarded $5 million through the federal program in 2010.

Single Stop and National College Advising Corps joined the New Profit portfolio, which already included College Summit, on Feb. 23. Each was awarded a 2011 grant of $1 million or more and is eligible to receive $75,000-$2,750,000 a year for up to five years.

Single Stop USA connects low-income students to financial resources and services. It increases college graduation rates by eliminating non-academic challenges that often lead students to drop out.

The program provides one-stop access to services such as health insurance, child care, housing assistance, book vouchers, bus passes. For easy access, it’s woven into the financial aid and student services offices of community college systems.

Kresge’s Human Services Program awarded Single Stop $1.5 million in 2010 to build its technology, training and evaluation infrastructure - helping it to grow and serve clients efficiently. Kresge’s Education Program added $1.15 million to launch Single Stop at Miami Dade College, the nation’s largest higher education institution with more than 170,000 students on multiple campuses.

It’s a continuum.” said Kresge Education Program Director Bill Moses. “Human services agencies help people in really tough times, but once they’re stabilized and back on their feet, how do you help people become more resilient? Well, it’s probably helping them get a degree or credential.

Currently operating in New York, New Jersey, California, New Mexico and Florida, Single Stop will use the $1.1 million New Profit award to expand its Community College Initiative to other campuses and states.

The National College Advising Corps makes college attainable for underrepresented students by hiring and training recent college graduates to serve as advisers in high schools.

By guiding students through the admissions process, National College Advising Corps contributed to an eight to 12 percent increase in college enrollment in the schools it serves.

The Kresge Foundation’s Education Team awarded NCAC $1 million in 2009 to support the advisers national training program and expand the advising corps model to Michigan. The $1.5 million New Profit grant will help the corps add 50 advisers to its program and reach an additional 15,000 students.

A new Kresge grantee, College Summit selects partner high schools with high need and low college-attendance rates. It provides four days of intensive training for a select group of incoming high school seniors. They become peer leaders, sharing their understanding of the college admissions process with other students and offering a positive influence throughout the school year.

Supported by national philanthropic seed money and per-student school district allocations, College Summit also gives schools and teachers tools and curricula to help students through the college admissions process. Its $1.75 million New Profit grant will help the organization guide another 2,500 students toward college. The Kresge Foundation has given College Summit a two-year, $1 million grant to help develop a more sustainable funding model.

For more information, contact Cynthia Shaw, cbshaw@kresge.org or call 248-643-9630.

The Kresge Foundation
3215 West Big Beaver Road
Troy, Michigan 48084

248.643.9630 telephone
248.643.0588 fax

The Kresge Foundation is a $3.1 billion private, national foundation that seeks to influence the quality of life for future generations through its support of nonprofit organizations in six fields of interest: arts and culture, community development, education, the environment, health, and human services.

About Us

The Kresge Foundation is a $3.1 billion private, national foundation that supports communities by building the capacity of nonprofit organizations in six fields: health, the environment, arts and culture, education, human services and community development. Kresge seeks to influence the quality of life for future generations by creating access and opportunity in underserved communities, improving the health of low-income people, supporting artistic expression, assisting in the revitalization of Detroit, and advancing methods for dealing with global climate change. In 2009, the Board of Trustees approved 404 awards totaling $197 million; $167 million was paid out to grantees over the course of the year. In June 2007, the foundation embarked upon a multi-year expansion of its grantmaking to better address society’s pressing issues. Central to this expansion are nine values, which now serve as the centerpiece of its grantmaking criteria. The values aim to advance low-income opportunity, promote community impact in ways most needed by residents, cultivate innovation and risk taking, support interdisciplinary solutions, foster environmental sustainability, and encourage diversity in board governance. For more information, visit www.kresge.org.