The Indianapolis-based Lumina Foundation has announced grants totaling $1.1 million working to develop the next generation of college-access supports and services and leverage the power of digital technology to support students on their path to college.
In a recent Gallup poll, 43 percent of respondents said it was somewhat or very difficult to locate information about college financial aid. To that end, planning grants were awarded through the foundation’s Envisioning the Next Generation of Student Supports program to Texas-based College Forward ($200,000 ) for market research and design of a game prototype that engages students in financial aid and literacy topics; the Educational Policy Improvement Center in Oregon ($200,000) to build and test customizable transition management systems for open enrollment institutions; EduGuide in Michigan ($155,000) to pilot an enhanced information/mentoring platform with new partners; New York City-based iMentor ($200,000) for its efforts to develop a third generation student mentoring platform that incorporates new analytic tools and more data capacity; the San Francisco Education Fund ($150,900) to integrate public and private data into a new student tracking and guidance system; and Southern Region Education Board in Georgia ($200,000) to offer recommendations to states for quick-to-market mobile apps related to college access and success.
“These findings tell us clearly that students and families need better guidance, more reliable access to information about paying for college and more help in applying for financial aid within college admission,” said Lumina Foundation President and CEO Jamie Merisotis. “In an age when technology touches nearly every aspect of society, we believe that a focus on innovative technology integration can help college access organizations infuse and upgrade their existing services in ways that will dramatically benefit students and families.”
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