Starr Foundation: Grants for K-12 Education

OVERVIEW: The Starr Foundation is one of the largest private foundations in the United States. With assets of more than $1 billion, the foundation grants scholarships to deserving students attending over 100 secondary and post-secondary schools in the United States, exchange programs for both U.S. and foreign students, and select job training, literacy and arts programs.

IP TAKE: Starr’s education program mainly funds scholarships to deserving students at the secondary and postsecondary level. Other types of K-12 program funding opportunities exist within the foundation’s human needs and culture initiatives. This funder does not accept unsolicited proposals.

PROFILE: The Starr Foundation was founded by insurance entrepreneur and humanist Cornelius Vander Starr in 1955. Headquartered in New York, the foundation grants need-based scholarships to students attending more than 100 secondary and postsecondary schools in the U.S. The Starr Foundation seeks to inspire individuals and promote opportunities for learning and enrichment. The foundation invests in education, medicine and healthcare, human needs, public policy and the environment. 

Starr broadly invests in education. Rather than name specific programmatic interests, the foundation prefers to entertain a wide variety of proposals addressing education. Past grants support exchange programs for U.S. and foreign students at specific postsecondary institutions. The foundation also invests in education across its programs. For instance, Starr funds K-12 through its human needs program, which supports literacy and job training initiatives in New York City, and its culture initiative, which funds some arts outreach programs aimed at student populations.

Starr scholarships to individuals range from $4,000 to about $25,000. The foundation awards much larger grants to schools, colleges and universities in the U.S. for additional scholarships and exchange programs. One of the largest private foundations in the U.S., Starr’s funding reaches a broad range of institutions, organizations, and individuals. The foundation does not review unsolicited proposals; invited applications for grants regularly throughout the year.

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