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We believe in the promise of a better life no matter where you started – and the power of education and training beyond high school to transform the lives of learners from low-income backgrounds.

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Our Focus Areas

We know learners from low-income backgrounds have the same abilities as high-income learners. Ascendium is working to change postsecondary and workforce training systems so that low-income learners have the same opportunities for academic and career success. To that end, we award exploration, validation and scaling grants in four focus areas that foster upward social mobility.


We hope our work contributes to a future where more learners from low-income backgrounds earn degrees and credentials in postsecondary education and workforce training. We envision this leading to improved labor market success and socioeconomic mobility for these learners.

To assess the progress of our strategy on the changes we seek, we monitor data points related to first-year persistence, degree and credential completion, time to completion and job placement. 

News and Updates

November 18, 2021 Newsletter

Ready for Pell Proposal Deadline Nov. 24, New CCRC Report on Guided Pathways and More

  • Ready for Pell Proposal Deadline is Nov. 24
  • New CCRC Report on Guided Pathways One of Several Ascendium-Supported Efforts on the Evidence-Informed Framework
  • Grant from Ascendium's Maintain Momentum Supports Community Colleges of Appalachia in New Rural Educators Academy
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October 21, 2021 Newsletter

Announcing New Ready for Pell Initiative, $18.5 Million in New Grants Approved and More

  • New $4.7M Ready for Pell Initiative Seeks to Strengthen Postsecondary Education in Prison Programs
  • $18.5 Million in Newly Approved Grants to Support Student Success, Workforce Mobility, Rural Guided Pathways
  • Vera Institute of Justice Helps Guide Postsecondary Education in Prison Programs on a Path to Pell for All
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October 13, 2021 News Release

Ascendium Announces Ready for Pell, a $4.7M Strategic Initiative for Postsecondary Education in Prison

Ascendium Education Group is announcing Ready for Pell, a two-year, $4.7 million strategic initiative to strengthen postsecondary education in prison programs ahead of the restoration of Pell Grants in 2023-24 for learners who are incarcerated.

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