Lumina Foundation: Grants for College Readiness

OVERVIEW: Lumina Foundation aims to make “opportunities for learning beyond high school available to all.” This foundation works mainly in the areas of research and policy analysis.

IP TAKE: The Lumina Foundation does not invest in direct educational services or K-12 education; its work lies mainly in the area of research and policy analysis and development. This funder accepts letters of inquiry on an ongoing basis.

PROFILE: The Indianapolis-based Lumina Foundation was established in 2000 and aims to make “opportunities for learning beyond high school available to all.” Maintaining an endowment of $1.2 billion, the foundation’s initiatives include the mobilization of employers, metro areas, regions and institutions of higher education toward increased student success and the advancement of state and federal policy toward this end. This funder also invests in the creation of new models for financial aid and academic credentialing.

Lumina supports college readiness through its efforts to improve student achievement. Much of its work is in the area of policy development. One past grantee is New America, a think tank promoting equity in educational opportunity in the U.S. Another grantee, the Center for American Progress, has used funding to “support research, policy analysis and nonpartisan advocacy in support of efforts to increase postsecondary attainment and quality, especially among low-income and adult students.”

Lumina grants range from $25,000 to over $1 million. Most grants are directed toward policy research or policy development; the foundation does not support direct educational services or K-12 education reform. A searchable database of past grants is available on the foundation’s website.

The Lumina Foundation accepts letters of inquiry on an ongoing basis, but letters received in September or later may be held and reviewed the following year.

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