Great Lakes Higher Education: Grants from Great Lakes to help college freshmen start strong

Colleges to Connect At-Risk Students to Services That Get Them on Track for Graduation

MADISON, WI — Far too many freshmen are starting their college career off on the wrong foot — earning low grades, dropping classes, or leaving college altogether. To help address this issue, today Great Lakes Higher Education Guaranty Corporation announced a new College Success grant opportunity.

Many colleges offer services such as tutoring, academic advising and counseling, and emergency financial aid that make a real difference in keeping students on the path to graduation. However, only a small percentage of students who need this help actually take advantage of it. This is especially true for underrepresented students, including those from low-income backgrounds and students of color.

These are the very students who will benefit from Great Lakes’ 2014-2015 College Success grants. The grants will provide colleges with resources to identify struggling first-year students and connect them with existing services to help them complete the credits they attempt, with grades conducive to program completion.

“Students placed on academic probation during their freshman year are up to 82 percent less likely to graduate within five years,” said Richard D. George, Great Lakes’ President and Chief Executive Officer. “These grants will help colleges identify at-risk students and connect them to the services that will position them for on-time graduation.”

Grants of up to $200,000 each are available to nonprofit two- and four-year colleges, universities, and community and technical colleges in Iowa, Minnesota, Ohio, and Wisconsin.

Applications, due January 6, 2014, can be accessed online at

About Great Lakes and Community Investments

Knowing that education has the power to change lives for the better, Great Lakes Higher Education Corporation & Affiliates helps millions of students pay for college and repay their student loans. Through Community Investments, Great Lakes leads initiatives and funds programs that help students from traditionally underserved backgrounds start and complete a two- or four-year degree or other credential. Since 2006, Great Lakes has committed more than $94 million in funding to programs that share these goals. For additional information, visit


Amy Kerwin


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