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CoPro2.0 Grants

Grants to USA IHEs, Nonprofits, and Researchers to Increase Access
to Postsecondary Education for Underserved Communities

Agency Type:

Foundation / Corporation

Funding Source:

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The Kresge Foundation

Conf. Date:


LOI Date:


Deadline Date:

09/20/21 11:59 PM PST


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Grants to USA IHEs, nonprofit organizations, and researchers for projects and programs to increase access to postsecondary education for underserved communities. Applicants must register in the online system before submitting an application. Funding is intended to support free community college programs and research projects addressing the feasibility of the programs.

Community colleges play a vital role in providing postsecondary opportunities for people from underserved groups and advancing the well-being of local communities. Yet many community colleges are experiencing enrollment declines, financial constraints, and tensions about how to best serve varied student needs with available resources.

Free college programs, or “College Promise,” offers a solution. When done right, growing evidence shows College Promise programs help move America toward a more affordable college ecosystem and greater numbers of college graduates. But College Promise programs vary widely in how they’re implemented, what funding covers, what supports are in place, and what populations benefit. Additionally, free tuition alone doesn’t close equity gaps. The best College Promise Programs ensure all student populations, especially low-income and students of color, benefit.

CoPro.2.0 is a funding opportunity through which Kresge will support College Promise programs that incorporate equitable, sustainable practices into their design. It will also fund additional research into financial sustainability structures and help local programs implement the Biden-Harris Administration’s free-college program proposal.

Separately and together, funded projects are expected to show how college promise programs at community colleges can:

  • Advance equity and help dismantle systemic racism;
  • Improve postsecondary outcomes for historically marginalized populations;
  • Reinforce the capacity of community colleges to provide high-quality post-secondary education and improve the well-being of students and local communities; and
  • Partner with other organizations to leverage resources and maximize program contributions to ensure long-term sustainability.

Concept papers are invited for projects that focus on

  • Stream 1: Programming Innovations and Redesign,
  • Stream 2: Research on Financial Sustainability, and
  • Stream 3: Strategic Implementation Guidance for the Biden-Harris Administration’s tuition-free community college proposal.

More about these streams can be found at

GrantWatch ID#:

GrantWatch ID#: 197504

Estimated Total Program Funding:


Number of Grants:

Up to seven

Estimated Size of Grant:

Stream 1: The per-grant maximum for this stream of funding is $300,000 total.
Stream 2: The per-grant maximum for grants in this stream is $200,000 total.
Stream 3: Up to $150,000

Term of Contract:

Stream 1: Up to two years
Stream 2: Up to two years
Stream 3: One- to two-year grants

Additional Eligibility Criteria:

Eligible Applicants:
Stream 1: Concept papers are invited from place-based college promise programs, community college districts, state higher education coordinating boards, systems, or commissions, and other public or nonprofit organizations (501c3 entities). It is unlikely that a single community college program would be awarded a grant, but some exceptions may apply.

Stream 2: Researchers from a range of professional settings (e.g., academic, think tank, community-based organization) are invited to apply for this stream. Applicants that actively engage community colleges as partners are of particular interest.

Stream 3: Applicants representing intermediary networks, think tanks, and advocacy organizations, as well as College Promise researchers at all levels, are invited to apply.

All project partners must submit a letter of support.

Pre-proposal Conference:

CoPro2.0 Funding Opportunity Webinar:

Join the Kresge Education Program for a 1-hour introduction to its new funding initiative, CoPro2.0: Shaping Equitable and Sustainable College Promise Programs. Kresge Program Officer Ed Smith and other members of the Kresge Education Program team will present on CoPro2.0’s funding objectives and the application process, as well as answer questions from attendees. This webinar will be recorded.

Jul 14, 2021 01:00 PM EDT


Pre-Application Information:

Timeline to Select Grants
- Request for Concept Papers released June 30, 2021
- Deadline for questions: July 30, 2021
- Webinar for potential applicants: July 14, 2021
- Concept papers submitted: August 9, 2021 by 11:59 PM PST
- Invitations sent for full proposals: September 1, 2021
- Full proposals submitted: September 20, 2021
- Funding decisions announced: November 2021

Interested applicants should first submit a concept paper (phase 1). By early September, the Foundation will invite selected applicants to submit a full proposal (phase 2). In October, the Foundation will make final selections for grant awards (phase 3), with the goal of announcing them by November.

Organizations seeking to pursue funding from The Kresge Foundation must have a Kresge Fluxx account. To begin the registration process, click the “Create an account now” button on the application page, follow these instructions and complete the request form. You will receive an email from Kresge confirming your registration approximately 5-7 business days following submission. Please note that the response may be delayed during peak periods.


Contact Information:

Before starting your grant application, please review the funding source's website listed below for updates/changes/addendums/conferences/LOIs.

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Email questions to

URL for Full Text (RFP):

Geographic Focus:

USA: Alabama;   Alaska;   Arizona;   Arkansas;   California;   Colorado;   Connecticut;   Delaware;   Florida;   Georgia;   Hawaii;   Idaho;   Illinois;   Indiana;   Iowa;   Kansas;   Kentucky;   Louisiana;   Maine;   Maryland;   Massachusetts;   Michigan;   Minnesota;   Mississippi;   Missouri;   Montana;   Nebraska;   Nevada;   New Hampshire;   New Jersey;   New Mexico;   New York City;   New York;   North Carolina;   North Dakota;   Ohio;   Oklahoma;   Oregon;   Pennsylvania;   Rhode Island;   South Carolina;   South Dakota;   Tennessee;   Texas;   Utah;   Vermont;   Virginia;   Washington, DC;   Washington;   West Virginia;   Wisconsin;   Wyoming

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