Person writing at a communal desk

Great Lakes Commits $28.6 Million During 2014 to Promote College Access and Completion

New Annual Report Details Successful Programs for Both High School and College Students

Great Lakes Higher Education Corporation & Affiliates releases its 2014 Philanthropy Report today, highlighting its work over the past year to close the college completion gap faced by students of color, low-income students and first-generation students.

"A college education remains the most reliable ladder to a better life — but only when a student pursues and successfully completes it," said Richard D. George, President and Chief Executive Officer of Great Lakes. "That's why our goal is to ensure students leave college with a diploma or certificate in hand."

In its nearly 50 years of working to make a college education a reality for more students, Great Lakes has learned there are many barriers to college access and completion, but generally they fall into one of two categories. Great Lakes focuses its grantmaking on both challenges:

  1. Making sure high school students arrive at college academically and financially prepared.
  2. Helping college students navigate challenges that can derail their education by making sure they have access to support services for academic, financial, social and cultural issues.

Great Lakes makes grants to colleges, universities, community-based organizations and research initiatives that demonstrate promising approaches to getting more students to and through college, with the aim of learning which ideas work best.

"Our goal is not to sustain local programs serving small numbers of students for an extended period. Rather, we want to identify specific strategies that may be implemented at scale to help the most students achieve the greatest results," said Amy Kerwin, Vice President — Community Investments.

During 2014 Great Lakes committed $28.6 million in grant funding to address a number of issues hindering college access and completion, including:

  • Preparing high school students for college-level math and English to avoid remedial education.
  • Reducing "summer melt" by helping more high school graduates show up for college in the fall.
  • Preventing unforeseen financial emergencies from derailing program completion.
  • Connecting college students with learning communities to keep them engaged and enrolled.
  • Equipping apprentices with money to buy expensive clothes and tools required for their training.
  • Providing paid internships to students with financial need to improve persistence and graduation rates, as well as post-graduation employment prospects.

To read the full philanthropy report, visit community.mygreatlakes.org.

About Great Lakes: Dedicated to making college education a reality since 1967.
Knowing that education has the power to change lives for the better, Great Lakes Higher Education Corporation & Affiliates was established as a nonprofit group focused on a single objective: helping students nationwide prepare for and succeed in postsecondary education and student loan repayment. As a leading student loan guarantor and servicer, we have been selected by the U.S. Department of Education to provide assistance and repayment planning to nearly 9 million borrowers — as well as assistance to colleges and lenders nationwide. Our group's earnings support one of the largest and most respected education philanthropy programs in the country. Since 2006, we have committed nearly $134 million in grant funding to promote higher education access and completion for students of color, low-income students, and first-generation students. For additional information, visit home.mygreatlakes.org.


News Releases

Great Lakes Donates $115,000 to 10 Adopted Schools in Local Communities
12/22/2017


Great Lakes' ScholarNet for Private Loans More Widely Used Than Ever Before
11/13/2017


Great Lakes Funding Development of Online Support Community for College Freshman Women
10/30/2017


Great Lakes Shares Lessons Learned from Summer Melt Texting Initiative
10/25/2017


Great Lakes Awards $525,000 in Anniversary Grants in Nine Communities Where Employees Live and Work
09/01/2017


Completion Grants Remove an Obstacle for At-Risk Students Nearing Graduation
08/16/2017


New Initiative Connects Remediation Reforms and Guided Pathways to Boost Student Success
08/15/2017


Great Lakes Awards $1,000 Scholarships to 200 Ohio Apprentices with Financial Need
06/29/2017


Great Lakes Awards $7.2 Million to Launch Emergency Grant Programs at Four-Year Colleges
06/15/2017


Great Lakes Sparking Change in Scholarship Delivery
06/12/2017


Montana Guaranteed Student Loan Program to Transfer Portfolio to Great Lakes
06/05/2017


Statement from Great Lakes Higher Education Corporation & Affiliates Regarding Student Loan Collection Fee Policies
03/21/2017


200 Wisconsin Apprentices with Financial Need Awarded $1,000 Scholarships from Great Lakes
03/16/2017


Great Lakes Releases 2016 Philanthropy Report Highlighting $21.9 Million in Grants Awarded
03/09/2017


Great Lakes Invites Four-Year Colleges to Apply for Successful Emergency Grant Program
01/26/2017


USA Funds Transfers Ownership of Nation's Largest Guarantor to Great Lakes
12/07/2016


Great Lakes Commits $2.1 Million to Help 16 Community Colleges Create Internship Programs for Low-Income Students
12/01/2016


Great Lakes Commits $2.6 Million to Keep At-Risk Near-Completers on Track to Graduation
11/15/2016


Blackhawk Technical College Students Borrow $700,000 Less, Regain Financial Aid Eligibility
10/21/2016


Achieving the Dream to Enhance Coaching Services with $1 Million Great Lakes Grant
09/15/2016


Great Lakes National Scholarship Awards Over $2 Million to Support College Access
08/24/2016


Great Lakes Awards $1.5 Million to CCRC to Support Guided Pathways Reform in Ohio
08/18/2016


Successful 'New Mathways Project' Expands into Arkansas to Increase Math Achievement
07/14/2016


Great Lakes Career Ready Internship Grant Opportunity Now Open to
Two-Year Colleges

05/19/2016


Study on Student-Faculty Interactions Finds Multi-Channel Communication is Key
05/11/2016


Great Lakes Shares Lessons Learned from 2014-2015 Career Ready Internship Grant Partners
04/21/2016


New Great Lakes Grant Opportunity Invites Applicants to Address Barriers Preventing Near-Completers from Earning Degrees
04/05/2016


Student Loans of North Dakota to Transfer Portfolio to Great Lakes
04/01/2016


Great Lakes Releases 2015 Philanthropy Report Detailing $28.5 Million in Commitments
03/31/2016


200 Wisconsin Construction and Industrial Trade Apprentices Receive $1,000 Scholarships
03/09/2016


Great Lakes Shares Best Practices from Three-Year Emergency Grant Program
02/25/2016


Application Period for Great Lakes National Scholarship Begins February 15
02/15/2016


Great Lakes Funds New Emergency Grants Shown to Boost Community and Technical College Completion
12/10/2015


University of Pittsburgh Streamlines Private Student Loan Processing, Improves Student Service
11/19/2015


Great Lakes' Free Tool Adds Early Engagement Outreach Campaigns for Schools
10/27/2015


Great Lakes' Commitment to Producing More Undergraduate STEM Degrees Now Reaches $10.7 Million
10/22/2015


Great Lakes Launches Updated Education Philanthropy Website
10/15/2015


Great Lakes Commits Record $12 Million to Fund 7,000 New Paid Internships for College Students with Financial Need
10/08/2015


Great Lakes CEO Accepts White House Invitation to Join the College Promise Campaign Advisory Board
10/01/2015


200 Wisconsin Apprentices Will Earn $1,000 Scholarships to Purchase Tools for Their Trades
09/17/2015


400 MPS Grads Eligible for $5 Million in College Scholarships from The Degree Project®
08/13/2015


Great Lakes Introduces Newly Expanded Program to Increase Community College Graduation
07/09/2015


Great Lakes Shares Results of Applicant and Grantee Perception Survey
05/19/2015


100 Schools Using Great Lakes' Free Outreach Tool to Help Students by Connecting Them with Their Servicer
05/18/2015


Great Lakes Commits $28.6 Million During 2014 to Promote College Access and Completion
05/14/2015


Great Lakes Expands Grants for Colleges Committed to Making Internships More Equitable
04/30/2015


Great Lakes Commits $4.2 Million to Prepare More Students for College Math & English
04/23/2015


Great Lakes' Free Tool Helps Schools Improve Repayment Success for All Their Student Loan Borrowers
02/20/2015