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Great Lakes Launches Updated Education Philanthropy Website

New look, enhanced mission clarity reflect expanded grantmaking—now exceeding $154 million

—For nearly half a century, Great Lakes Higher Education Corporation & Affiliates has operated as a nonprofit organization with a single objective: promoting college access and completion. With earnings from its work as a successful student loan guarantor and servicer, Great Lakes funds one of the largest and most respected education philanthropies in the nation.

"Our goal is to get students to and through college, so they can realize their full potential," says Amy Kerwin, Vice President – Community Investments at Great Lakes. "We focus on low-income, first-generation and students of color—because they traditionally have the most to gain from a degree but the least support in getting there."

Understanding the magnitude of the challenges faced by these at-risk students, Great Lakes is taking increasingly bold actions with its grantmaking. "We're not interested in dabbling in small projects that only help a few students," Kerwin adds. "Our resources allow us to partner with experts to identify solutions, verify that they work and then execute them on a large scale—aimed at helping significant numbers of students."

In recognition of Great Lakes expanding its grantmaking—both within and outside its core states of Arkansas, Iowa, Minnesota, Ohio and Wisconsin—its education philanthropy website has been enhanced to focus on these three funding strategies. Visitors to the site will learn about the objectives and methodology behind them, as well as funding recipients for each. All Great Lakes grants are now categorized as:

  • Exploration Grants – Identifying best practices
  • Validation Grants – Confirming promising ideas
  • Scaling Grants – Expanding the reach of successful programs

Other updates to the site include new resources for grant seekers, an interactive display of funding history, expanded news updates and improved navigation. "We've intentionally designed the new site to be beneficial to the diverse audience visiting it—from grant seekers and recipients to other funders and the media," says Kerwin.

To stay informed about current Great Lakes initiatives and future grant opportunities, visit and sign up for the philanthropy newsletter.

News Releases

Great Lakes Funding Development of Online Support Community for College Freshman Women

Great Lakes Shares Lessons Learned from Summer Melt Texting Initiative

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

Completion Grants Remove an Obstacle for At-Risk Students Nearing Graduation

New Initiative Connects Remediation Reforms and Guided Pathways to Boost Student Success

Great Lakes Awards $1,000 Scholarships to 200 Ohio Apprentices with Financial Need

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

Great Lakes Sparking Change in Scholarship Delivery

Montana Guaranteed Student Loan Program to Transfer Portfolio to Great Lakes

Statement from Great Lakes Higher Education Corporation & Affiliates Regarding Student Loan Collection Fee Policies

200 Wisconsin Apprentices with Financial Need Awarded $1,000 Scholarships from Great Lakes

Great Lakes Releases 2016 Philanthropy Report Highlighting $21.9 Million in Grants Awarded

Great Lakes Invites Four-Year Colleges to Apply for Successful Emergency Grant Program

USA Funds Transfers Ownership of Nation's Largest Guarantor to Great Lakes

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

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

Blackhawk Technical College Students Borrow $700,000 Less, Regain Financial Aid Eligibility

Achieving the Dream to Enhance Coaching Services with $1 Million Great Lakes Grant

Great Lakes National Scholarship Awards Over $2 Million to Support College Access

Great Lakes Awards $1.5 Million to CCRC to Support Guided Pathways Reform in Ohio

Successful 'New Mathways Project' Expands into Arkansas to Increase Math Achievement

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


Study on Student-Faculty Interactions Finds Multi-Channel Communication is Key

Great Lakes Shares Lessons Learned from 2014-2015 Career Ready Internship Grant Partners

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

Student Loans of North Dakota to Transfer Portfolio to Great Lakes

Great Lakes Releases 2015 Philanthropy Report Detailing $28.5 Million in Commitments

200 Wisconsin Construction and Industrial Trade Apprentices Receive $1,000 Scholarships

Great Lakes Shares Best Practices from Three-Year Emergency Grant Program

Application Period for Great Lakes National Scholarship Begins February 15

Great Lakes Funds New Emergency Grants Shown to Boost Community and Technical College Completion

University of Pittsburgh Streamlines Private Student Loan Processing, Improves Student Service

Great Lakes' Free Tool Adds Early Engagement Outreach Campaigns for Schools

Great Lakes' Commitment to Producing More Undergraduate STEM Degrees Now Reaches $10.7 Million

Great Lakes Launches Updated Education Philanthropy Website

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

Great Lakes CEO Accepts White House Invitation to Join the College Promise Campaign Advisory Board

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

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

Great Lakes Introduces Newly Expanded Program to Increase Community College Graduation

Great Lakes Shares Results of Applicant and Grantee Perception Survey

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

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

Great Lakes Expands Grants for Colleges Committed to Making Internships More Equitable

Great Lakes Commits $4.2 Million to Prepare More Students for College Math & English

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