Press Release

Great Lakes Launches Updated Education Philanthropy Website

October 15, 2015


Madison, Wis., October 15, 2015—For nearly half a century, Great Lakes Higher Education Corporation & Affiliates has operated as a nonprofit organization with a single objective: promoting college access and completion. With earnings from its work as a successful student loan guarantor and servicer, Great Lakes funds one of the largest and most respected education philanthropies in the nation.

"Our goal is to get students to and through college, so they can realize their full potential," says Amy Kerwin, Vice President – Community Investments at Great Lakes. "We focus on low-income, first-generation and students of color—because they traditionally have the most to gain from a degree but the least support in getting there."

Understanding the magnitude of the challenges faced by these at-risk students, Great Lakes is taking increasingly bold actions with its grantmaking. "We're not interested in dabbling in small projects that only help a few students," Kerwin adds. "Our resources allow us to partner with experts to identify solutions, verify that they work and then execute them on a large scale—aimed at helping significant numbers of students."

In recognition of Great Lakes expanding its grantmaking—both within and outside its core states of Arkansas, Iowa, Minnesota, Ohio and Wisconsin—its education philanthropy website has been enhanced to focus on these three funding strategies. Visitors to the site will learn about the objectives and methodology behind them, as well as funding recipients for each. All Great Lakes grants are now categorized as:

  • Exploration Grants – Identifying best practices
  • Validation Grants – Confirming promising ideas
  • Scaling Grants – Expanding the reach of successful programs


Other updates to the site include new resources for grant seekers, an interactive display of funding history, expanded news updates and improved navigation. "We've intentionally designed the new site to be beneficial to the diverse audience visiting it—from grant seekers and recipients to other funders and the media," says Kerwin.

To stay informed about current Great Lakes initiatives and future grant opportunities, visit and sign up for the philanthropy newsletter.

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