Foundation aims to grow post-secondary education

By Elizabeth zinchuk

Thirty seven percent of the United States population has some kind of post-secondary education, according to the United States Census Bureau’s 2012 data.

One foundation’s goal could nearly double that percentage by 2025.

The Indianapolis-based Lumina Foundation announced Dec. 4th its initiative to work with cities such as Boston, Cincinnati, Seattle and Houston.


Lumina is giving as much as $200,000 to communities in these cities that will help fund their residents’ accessibility to post-secondary education. Lumina’s mission, according to their website, is to increase the proportion of Americans with college degrees, certificates, or other credentials.

Haley Glover, a Lumina strategy director, said the communities receiving funds from Lumina are the first of more to come.

“This is just the first twenty of many, many more that we will be reaching out to in a partnership,” Glover said.

While Lumina cannot fund anything that’s related to politics, lobbying activities or scholarships, they have not put any other restrictions on what cities can use the funding for, Glover said. The money includes funding for program implementation tailored to each community’s needs, she said.

“The initiative is there to support the communities with what they need to do to get the job done,” Glover said. “It’s our intent that communities really focus in on what their local workforce economy needs and a lot of times, that means an associate’s degree and a workforce certification.”

Glover said the organization hopes to increase economic and social benefits in the selected communities.

“We think that post-secondary attainment is a key indicator for economic competitiveness,” Glover said. “Students who have post-secondary credentials are more likely to be employed, they are more likely to be able to save for themselves and their families, and more likely to participate in civic and volunteer activities.”


Glover said many new jobs are being crafted with college graduates in mind.