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Current Funding Opportunities

Ascendium is one of the nation’s largest postsecondary education grantmakers. Since 2006, we have committed hundreds of millions of dollars to identify, validate and leverage practices that help learners earn valuable credentials and unlock greater opportunity and social mobility.

Open Calls

Ready for Pell

Ready for Pell proposals are due Wednesday, Nov. 24 to Jobs for the Future (JFF), intermediary partner in Ascendium’s $4.7 million, two-year initiative. Ready for Pell is designed to support and strengthen postsecondary education in prison programs in advance of the full restoration of Pell Grant eligibility for people in prison, coming in the 2023-24 academic year. Individual colleges are eligible for grants of $100,000 to $125,000 over two years. Postsecondary systems are eligible for grants of up to $50,000 to support a coordinating function for a cohort of colleges. Grantees will also receive technical assistance from JFF, the Council of State Governments Justice Center and other subject matter experts. Applicants must be Title IV eligible institutions that do not currently administer Pell Grants in the postsecondary education in prison programs for which they are applying. For more details, see the JFF article, view the RFP document or email AskReadyForPell.

While Ascendium does not accept unsolicited grant proposals, our grantmaking team is continually sourcing prospective grants. Contact us for more information.


We fund initiatives at every stage of development, from promising but untested practices to proven approaches ready to be brought to scale. To succeed, initiatives need support at every stage.

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