INDIANAPOLIS—Lumina Foundation awarded grants totaling nearly $4 million in the first quarter of 2012.

Lumina’s grant making reflects the Foundation’s commitment to three primary areas:

Preparation—Students are prepared academically, financially and socially for success in education beyond high school;

Success—Higher education completion rates are improved significantly; and,

Productivity—Higher education productivity is increased to expand capacity and serve more students.

Lumina recently issued the third edition of our signature report, A Stronger Nation through Higher Education, which breaks down higher education achievement rates by states and by county,” explained Jamie Merisotis, President and CEO of Lumina Foundation. “These numbers are important not simply because of the opportunities that advanced education provides, but because our changing workforce dictates we will need dramatically higher number of workers in the next decade. Our grants this quarter support the work being done to make greater progress toward the Big Goal of increasing the percentage of Americans with high quality degrees and credentials to 60 percent by 2025.

Success (2 Grants)

Excelencia in Education (Washington, DC) $1,640,000 to strengthen the knowledge sharing, cultural competency, place-based collaboration, technical assistance, and communications strategies among thirteen communities striving to increase Latino student success.

United Negro College Fund (Fairfax, VA) $100,000 to support a strategic planning process to improve the operation and organizational performance of the United Negro College Fund.

Productivity (2 Grants)

The Education Conservancy (Portland, OR) $30,000 to publish research findings and policy recommendations that produced Consumer Union’s “Find the Best Colleges for You” guide.

HCM Strategists (Washington, DC) $2,197,500 to expand the Productivity Strategy Labs Network to 28 states in an effort to assist states in adopting, sustaining or enhancing efforts to cost-effectively graduate more students with high-quality degrees and credentials.

Lumina Foundation, an Indianapolis-based private foundation, is committed to enrolling and graduating more students from college—especially 21st century students: low-income students, students of color, first-generation students and adult learners.  Lumina’s goal is to increase the percentage of Americans who hold high-quality degrees and credentials to 60 percent by 2025.  Lumina pursues this goal in three ways: by identifying and supporting effective practice, through public policy advocacy, and by using our communications and convening power to build public will for change.

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