Closed: Request for Proposals

Enhancing the State Role in Quality Assurance

RFP closed on Sept. 25, 2019

Lumina State Quality Assurance Grant Fund

Lumina Foundation is committed to expanding access to high-quality learning and often forms partnerships to help accelerate progress.  We seek partners that will help build a system of learning beyond high school that is easy to navigate, delivers fair results, and meets the nation’s need for talent through a broad range of credentials. In our current work, we are prioritizing efforts within states that could lead to significant gains.  Within the past year, we have issued requests for information and formal proposals from state agencies, higher education system heads, and other state leaders. This latest RFP, “Enhancing the State Role in Quality Assurance,” is part of our coordinated work to mobilize state leadership. We encourage states and systems that have applied for other Lumina funding to note this in responses to the RFP, identifying areas of potential coordination.

In its current strategic plan, Lumina Foundation has prioritized work to ensure the quality of the credentials that postsecondary students earn, including degrees, certificates, and other validated credentials. The foundation believes, at a minimum, that quality credentials are those that have clear and transparent learning outcomes and that are designed to set up graduates to succeed in employment and in taking advantage of further learning opportunities.

State agencies and state systems of postsecondary education have essential roles to play and deserve a larger role in our national dialogue about how to assure and improve quality across systems and increase equitable access to quality pathways and credentials.

To assist interested state agencies and state systems in these efforts, we are excited to launch the Lumina State Quality Assurance Grant Fund to provide assistance to state-level entities interested in developing or implementing new approaches to quality assurance and improvement. A recent report by SHEEO and NASH, Quality Assurance and Improvement in Higher Education: The Role of the States, has significantly informed the development of this funding opportunity. Applicants are encouraged to review this report to inform their proposals.

We estimate awards will range from $50,000 to $100,000 for 12-month preliminary design projects or from $200,000 to $400,000 for larger implementation projects lasting up to 24 months.

Download full RFP document

Selection Process

We will accept applications on a rolling basis between July 15 and Sept. 25, 2019. An interested applicant must submit a letter of intent of no more than three, single-spaced pages using 11-point font. The strongest applicants will be invited within two weeks of their initial letter to the second stage to submit a formal application. Interested applicants are encouraged to apply early.


Lumina hosted a webinar at 1 p.m. EDT on Thursday, July 25, 2019,  to discuss this RFP, share insights from partner organizations, and answer prospective applicants’ questions. 

Letters of intent should be sent to QualityFund@luminafoundation.org any time between July 15 and no later than 3 p.m. EDT on Wednesday, Sept. 25. Prospective applicants also may email this address with questions in advance of submitting letters of intent.

Key dates:
Informational webinar July 25, 2019
Applications accepted July 15 through Sept. 25, 2019

Posted June 27, 2019