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COMMUNITY INVESTMENTS Encouraging college completion. Transforming lives.

Completing college moves a person higher. At Great Lakes, we think everyone should have the opportunity. We focus on those with the most to gain: students from low-income households, students of color, and students who are the first in their families to attend college. Traditionally, they have the steepest climb and least support. We’re working hard to change that.

It’s a formidable job, and never more vital. A team effort is the only way. So through our Community Investments, we do three things:


directly to students and those who help them.

FUND RESEARCH to learn what really works.


to help partners run like-minded programs for students.

We’ve committed more than $94 million to our services, research, and grants. All with one goal in mind: To see more students complete college—and go on to transform their lives, their families, and our communities.

SERVICES When it comes to preparing and paying for college, it’s easy for high school students and their families to become overwhelmed. What brings clarity— and action—is having a caring expert at their side to show the way. That’s the idea behind our College Access Advising Program. COLLEGE We field a team of college access advisors stationed across ACCESS ADVISING Wisconsin and South Dakota. They work mostly in lowPROGRAM income communities, where students are least likely

to consider college and school counselors are spread thin. Our advisors work closely with these counselors to offer a mix of free workshops and one-on-one advising to show students and families why college matters, how they can make it happen, and what they need to do at each step along the way—from freshman to senior year. Advisors work especially closely with students and families to file the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). This form is the only way for students to get federal grants and other financial aid. And this aid is the only way most students can meet the costs of higher education. It’s just one way our team ensures that students get what they need to make their way to and through college.



The challenge of equalizing educational opportunity for students inspires a vast array of solutions. But which do the most good? That’s a question we’re helping to answer.

We make grants to chip away at two key barriers that keep too many students from completing college: not being prepared to do college-level work coming in, and facing threats to completion once enrolled.

THE DEGREE We launched The Degree Project® with Milwaukee PROJECT

Public Schools in 2011, which promises $12,000 college scholarships to 2,600 freshmen who meet goals for grades and attendance. An independent team of researchers is evaluating whether the promise increases the number of students who go on to college. Along with the research findings, we expect the scholarships to produce a brighter future for students and the community.

THE To consider broader questions, we’re funding the creation WISCONSIN of The Wisconsin HOPE Lab at the University of Wisconsin. HOPE LAB

It’s the nation’s first lab for research on increasing college completion rates among the underrepresented students our philanthropy supports.

COLLEGE Our College Ready grants go to programs that prepare high READY school students and adult learners to enter higher education GRANTS

ready to take and pass college-level courses. Programs provide specialized attention, tutoring, and skill-building activities. Students come away with more college options, and better prepared to make a strong start and ultimately complete their academic programs on time.

COLLEGE Our College Success grants support programs that help SUCCESS college students develop meaningful connections with peers, GRANTS

faculty, and campus staff. The stronger these connections, the more likely students are to stay on track academically and socially for program completion.

We also make College Success grants to help keep students in school through financial emergencies, and to create new paid internship opportunities to benefit college juniors and seniors of all backgrounds.

With all our grants, we work with those we fund to learn how their students fare. This vital feedback helps us shape future grant opportunities so we all get continually better at increasing college access and success.

Great Lakes Higher Education Corporation & Affiliates 2401 International Lane, Madison, WI 53704 608.246.1800

Š2013 Great Lakes Higher Education Corporation & Affiliates. All rights reserved. 4298 (11/13)

Great Lakes Higher Education Corporation & Affiliates is a nonprofit that helps people get into college, graduate, and build bright futures. Since 1967, we’ve helped millions of students pay for college and manage their student loans. Through Community Investments, we work to increase college access, readiness, and success for students of all backgrounds.

Community Investments: Encouraing College Completion. Transforming Lives.  
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