Joyce Foundation: Grants for College Readiness

OVERVIEW: The Joyce Foundation awards college readiness grants to organizations located in parts of the Midwest. College readiness grants views education in terms of using it as a tool for upwards mobility and prioritizes students of color or those from low-income backgrounds.

IP TAKE: The Joyce Foundation’s grant application process takes approximately four to six months from the receipt of a letter of inquiry. Grantseekers should be aware of this timeframe when considering their funding needs. The foundation only supports grantmaking to organizations located in Great Lakes Region, including the states of Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Ohio, and Wisconsin.

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. The foundation currently offers 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 those 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.

College readiness grants typically range from $100,000 to $400,000. Past College Readiness grantees include Northern Illinois University, which received support for its Education Systems Center. The center advances college and career readiness programs in Illinois. To get a broader sense of the types of college readiness organizations Joyce supports, explore its grants database.

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

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