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IPS Awarded Grant to increase College Enrollment

Indianapolis Public Schools (IPS) is among six school districts in Marion County that received planning grants focused on increasing college enrollment among students. The grants are part of College Matters, an initiative of the Richard M. Fairbanks Foundation

The $20,000 grant will support IPS staff in developing a four-year plan to help more students enroll in college. Also, as part of the grant, the district will receive assistance from national research firm Mathematica to select the best strategies for IPS to increase college enrollment.

In addition to IPS, the other school districts chosen to receive $20,000 planning grants:

  • Franklin Township Community School Corporation
  • MSD of Pike Township
  • MSD of Warren Township
  • MSD of Wayne Township
  • Victory College Prep.

College Matters, a $15 million grantmaking initiative of the Richard M. Fairbanks Foundation, seeks to increase college enrollment rates for Marion County high school seniors, especially for students less likely to enroll in college, including students from low-income households, Black students, and Hispanic and Latino students.

High school students face a variety of challenges when considering college, including accessing coursework that prepares them for college, identifying possible career options, and obtaining financial aid. For students without access to relevant support and resources, these challenges can turn into barriers that keep them from applying to and enrolling in college — furthering existing racial and socioeconomic disparities in education and worsening talent shortages in the Indy region.

IPS received $240,000 from the Richard M. Fairbanks Foundation in 2023 as part of the College Matters: Meeting the Moment. Through this grant, IPS hired a district college specialist to increase college applications, FAFSA submissions, 21st Century Scholar completion, and summer melt activities.