Edison International Shines Bright for College Students

Edison International’s Community Giving Program exists “to make a difference.” Its support of higher education—particularly its access to underserved populations—is at the forefront of this difference-making.

In order for Edison International to shine a light on you or your program, you must be based in either Southern or Central California. Its giving program covers 15 counties total, in a drop down list you can peruse through the program's Pre-Qualify portal.

Edison International's support of higher education flows through its Education focus area. In 2014, this electric company gave away more than $20 million through its philanthropic pursuits, and education got more than half of those dollars.

This community giving program emphasizes STEM higher education (not surprising given Edison’s corporate business), as well as access to college and direct scholarships for students. All three of these emphases come with it a commitment to underserved populations, which Edison International defines as including women, people with low incomes, “diverse ethnic groups,”  people with special needs, and LGBT populations.

Recent Higher Education giving made by Edison International includes a $1 million endowment of California State University Los Angeles' new Honors College. This endowment created permanantly established scholarship funding for students entering STEM fields of study.

Edison International also doled out $20,000 to Santa Barbara City College in order for it to beef up its STEM education curriculum.

Another recent grantee is Walking Shield, for its Greater Los Angeles Education Initiative Leaders Program, which provides an array of college-readiness programs for Native American high school students and their families.

Payouts from Edison International primarily come in the form of $5,000 grants to nonprofit, community-based organizations. The $5,000 grants are an open, online process, with two deadlines each calendar year. However, Edison International does state: “organizations that have demonstrated success in making a difference in our priority areas may be invited to apply for larger grants.” Creating a connection through their $5,000 community grants is a viable and accessible way to start.

If you're an individual student seeks college scholarship support (rather than a nonprofit supporting those students), check out Edison International's Edison Scholars Program, which is also focused on students aiming to pursue STEM studies.