SOURCE: Great Lakes Higher Education Guaranty Corp.

October 11, 2012 08:00 ET

Great Lakes Seeks to Increase College Readiness Through New Grant Opportunity

College Ready Grants Will Fund Academic Support for Low-Income, First-Generation, and Students of Color

MADISON, WI--(Marketwire - Oct 11, 2012) - Arriving on campus academically underprepared is one of the most common factors preventing students from succeeding in college. Only 11 percent of first-generation students from low-income backgrounds complete their bachelor's degree within six years. To help more students succeed in higher education -- whether at two-year, four-year, or technical colleges -- Great Lakes Higher Education Guaranty Corporation (Great Lakes) has announced its College Ready grant opportunity.

Building upon the successes of previous Great Lakes academic preparedness grants totaling $3.1 million, the College Ready grant is designed to support programs that help students in grades 6-12 and adult learners prepare for success in college. Community-based organizations and nonprofit colleges and universities in Wisconsin and Minnesota are eligible to apply for grants of up to $300,000. Grant funds can be used to sustain, grow, or replicate programming that helps students succeed academically.

"Students who begin college with the academic skills needed to succeed are more likely to complete their program of study, improving their earning potential and overall quality of life," said Richard D. George, Great Lakes' President and Chief Executive Officer. "Through these grants, Great Lakes' goal is to improve college readiness, avoid the cost of remedial education, and increase the number of students who earn a college degree, diploma, or certificate."

Great Lakes' College Ready grant applicants must provide academic-focused services to students from traditionally underserved backgrounds throughout the 2013-2014 academic year. The following outcomes, proven to be strong indicators of college success, will be used to measure student achievement: ACT or SAT scores, grade point average (GPA), or academic performance, as indicated by pre- and post-test scores.

Applications, due December 7, 2012, can be accessed online at mygreatlakes.org/community.

For more information on Great Lakes' Community Investments initiatives, please visit mygreatlakes.org/community or contact Amy Kerwin at akerwin@glhec.org or (608) 246-1785.

About Great Lakes and Community Investments
Knowing that education has the power to change lives for the better, Great Lakes Higher Education Corporation & Affiliates helps millions of students pay for college and manage their student loans. Through Community Investments, Great Lakes funds programs that foster workforce development by increasing the number of students from disadvantaged backgrounds who start and complete a postsecondary degree or certificate. Since 2006, Great Lakes has committed nearly $74 million in funding to programs that share these goals. For additional information, visit mygreatlakes.org/community.