U.S. Bank Foundation: Grants for College Readiness

OVERVIEW: The U.S. Bank Foundation is the philanthropic arm of the financial services company, and provides grants in education, workforce development, economic development, affordable housing, arts, and culture in the areas where its bank has a presence.

IP TAKE: U.S. Bank has an open grant application process, but only for programs in states where its corporate side offers banking services.

PROFILE: The U.S. Bank Foundation is the philanthropic arm of U.S. Bancorp, the financial services company based in Minneapolis. Through the foundation, U.S. Bank invests in “economic development by supporting efforts to create stable jobs, better homes and vibrant communities.” In addition to the education initiatives discussed below, U.S. Bank's priorities also include two streams that provide support for small businesses, an additional focus on financial literacy training for people of all ages.

The foundation’s college readiness funding falls under the Providing Pathways for Success to Post-Secondary Education sub-focus of its Community Possible Grant Program. This focus has two main priorities, which the foundation describes as "[o]rganizations and programs that help low-income and at-risk high school students prepare for post-secondary education at a community college, university, trade or technical school," and "post-secondary institution programs and initiatives that support access opportunities for low-income and diverse students."

Some college readiness grants dispensed by U.S. Bank Foundation in recent years include College Possible (St. Paul, MN), the Iowa College Access Network (ICAN), College Now Greater Cleveland, College Access Now (Seattle, WA), GRADCincinnati, LACER Afterschool Programs (offerings include a College and Career Prep program), Educating Young Minds (another nonprofit that offers College Ready programs), the Education Advantage Foundation (with a mission to “promote higher education by providing scholarships and free after-school mentoring/tutoring programs in cooperation with apartment building residents”).

Grants for these organizations generally range from $10,000 to $25,000. Grantseekers should review the foundation’s extensive Guidelines before starting their applications.

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