Joyce Foundation: Grants for College Readiness

OVERVIEW: The Joyce Foundation awards college readiness grants to organizations located in parts of the Midwest. It’s funding initiatives are culture, democracy, environment, education and economic mobility, gun violence prevention and justice reform.

IP TAKE: The Joyce Foundation supports college readiness in Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Ohio, Wisconsin and the Great Lakes Region. This funder accepts letters of inquiry on an ongoing basis.

PROFILE: Beatrice Joyce Kean founded the Joyce Foundation in 1948. When she passed in 1972, she left nearly $100 million of her estate to the foundation, which aims to improve the quality of life and “promote safe and healthy communities” in the Midwest. The foundation currently runs the following grantmaking programs: culture, democracy, environment, education & economic mobility, gun violence prevention & justice reform and a special opportunities program.

Joyce awards its college readiness grants through its education & economic mobility program, which seeks “[t]o make sure young people are prepared for the future and well-positioned to improve their economic status” and to “[e]nsure equitable access to high-quality education and jobs.” The foundation awards grants to organizations that improve students’ access to college coursework opportunities, career readiness programs, and programs that help students transition from high school to college. Joyce also funds state and federal policy development geared toward increasing postsecondary completion, transfer and post-graduate outcomes. One past grantee, Northern Illinois University, used funding to support its Education Systems Center, which supports local college and career readiness programs throughout the state of Illinois.

College readiness grants typically range from $100,000 to $400,000. A grants database is provided on the foundation’s website.

The Joyce Foundation accepts unsolicited letters of inquiry throughout the year and recommends that applicants submit materials six to eight weeks before proposal deadlines. For more information regarding LOIs and proposals, grantseekers can email the foundation at


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Application Guidelines

Grants Database