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Lumina Foundation Awards $3.1 Million to Help Streamline Admissions Process for Underserved Students

Seven higher learning institutions or agencies have been named as grant winners in education equity organization Lumina Foundation's "Great Admissions Redesign" challenge out of over 70 who applied.

The challenge, which opened in September 2023, had a goal of reshaping, simplifying, and streamlining the college admissions process to make it more accessible for all students. Those from underserved populations especially tend to lack the skills and knowledge needed to navigate a complex admissions process, according to a release.

The grants will help fund initiatives that seek to "reduce barriers to admission and promote inclusivity," the release noted. "Recipients will work toward enhancing the transparency and accessibility of the admissions process while addressing the needs of diverse student populations."

Three implementation grants of $750,000 each went to:

Four planning grants in varying amounts went to:

Melanie Heath, strategy director at Lumina, noted that "significant disruptions in college admissions" have occurred in the last several years because of the pandemic, changing testing requirements, and legal rulings, and Lumina saw a need to revamp the admissions process to make things easier.

"This moment presents a unique opportunity to reimagine how we engage with prospective students and enhance their college experiences. We were thrilled with the number of applicants seeking resources to support their ideas on reshaping and simplifying the admissions process."

To read more about what Lumina learned when it asked higher education institutions to redo admissions, read this "Great Admissions Redesign" blog post.

About the Author

Kate Lucariello is a former newspaper editor, EAST Lab high school teacher and college English teacher.

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