Helios Education Foundation: Grants for College Readiness

OVERVIEW: The Helios Education Foundation supports early childhood education, college and career readiness and postsecondary completion in Arizona and Florida.

IP TAKE: The Helios Foundation's college and career readiness program works toward improving academic outcomes for high school students and increasing information and access to postsecondary education. This funder does not accept unsolicited proposals.

PROFILE: The Helios Education Foundation was founded in 2004 with the proceeds from the sale of the Southwest Student Services Corporation, a student loan company, to the SLM Corporation, which is also known as Sallie Mae. Based in Phoenix, Arizona and Tampa, Florida, the foundation aims to help students in these states succeed in postsecondary education, thereby enriching the lives of all residents. Investing approximately $15 million in education each year, its three main funding areas are early childhood education, college and career readiness, and postsecondary completion.

The Helios Foundation's college and career readiness program facilitates "rigorous, high expectation academic environments" and promotes "college-going" cultures at high schools in Arizona and Florida. To these ends, the foundation works to improve programs of study to meet educational requirements and students' personal goals. It also funds programs that work toward providing increased access to information about higher education opportunities and family engagement in students' transition to postsecondary education. One grantee, the Be A Leader Foundation, provides high schools with matriculation specialists who support students through the senior year of high school as they apply to and enroll in higher education. Another funded project supported the Yuma Union High School District in Arizona as it implemented a rigorous five-year college and career readiness program for its students.  

Helios's college readiness grants range from $75,000 to $2.1 million, with an average grant size of about $350,000. It partners with organizations in Arizona and Florida exclusively, prioritizing research-based interventions with proven success. A database of funded projects is available on the foundation's website.

This funder does not accept unsolicited proposals. General inquiries may be made via the foundation's contact page. 


Search for staff contact info and bios in PeopleFinder (paid subscribers only).