Identifying Best Practices

Exploration Grants

We're driven by curiosity, and we constantly find issues we want to study — based on our own experiences or the research of others. We fund exploration grants to learn more about ideas and approaches we think hold promise for helping more students complete college.

As we consider potential grants, we ask a number of questions: Will the program improve completion rates? Will it impact a significant number of students? Does it have potential on a larger scale? The answers will help guide our future funding efforts.

Currently Funded Programs Include:

CAREER & TECHNICAL EDUCATION IN PRISON

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Expanding access to higher education programs in prison could help more justice-involved individuals earn industry-recognized credentials that lead to post-release job opportunities.

EARLY INDICATORS GRANT

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Researchers in four states are developing models to predict the likelihood of academic and labor market success based on student behaviors early in college. This tool can help colleges identify students who will benefit most from support services to persist to completion.

RAND LANDSCAPE SCAN: HIGHER EDUCATION IN PRISON

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*Correctional Education in the United States, RAND Corporation, 2014

We're learning about promising opportunities to put more justice-involved individuals on the pathway to graduation.

THE FINISH LINE: GRADUATION BY DESIGN

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Helping students avoid or mitigate financial aid probation may help them stay enrolled and on track for graduation.

MULTIPLE MEASURES ASSESSMENT

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*A Primer on the College Student Journey, Commission on the Future of Undergraduate Education, 2016

Students who are placed into remedial classes are less likely to earn degrees than those who start in college-level courses—and research suggests many are misplaced. We're learning whether switching to more accurate assessments can improve graduation rates.

COLLEGE COMPLETION GRANT

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Helping colleges identify struggling students in high-demand majors who are within striking distance of graduation — then keep them in school to earn their degrees.

WISCONSIN COVENANT SCHOLARS GRANT

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Helping students from low-income families meet the cost of college when state grants for Wisconsin Covenant Scholars aren't enough.