We reviewed 961 grants in support of higher education made by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the Lumina Foundation, and The Kresge Foundation. Explore them all below and read about our methodology. Also check out our interactive graphic that shows the relationships of the grantors and the grant recipients, our disclosure statement, and our analyses.

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Recipient Grantmaker Amount Year issued Duration (years)
 
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Correction (7/26/2013, 6:15 p.m.): Because of inaccurate data provided by the Foundation Center, this table overstated the amount SPEC Associates received from the Lumina Foundation. It received $2.8-million from Lumina in 2011, not $3.8-million. The table has been updated to reflect that.

The Methodology

The articles and graphics in this package rely on Chronicle interviews with more than 100 people and on data from the Foundation Center, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the Lumina Foundation, and the Kresge Foundation. The Foundation Center supplied information on more than 2,000 grants of at least $10,000 from 2006 through 2011, the most recent years for which the center had data. The Chronicle reviewed each grant and determined that 961 described efforts to improve higher-education outcomes or raise public awareness of the need for reforms, such as increasing access and degree attainment. (We did not include grants that focused exclusively on higher education “readiness,” or scholarships for individual students, like the Gates Millennium Scholars.) Those 961 grants form the basis of our graphics and online interactive.

The Foundation Center collects grant information from more than 108,000 foundations and other charitable entities worldwide. The data are collected directly from some foundations, including the Gates foundation, as well as by reviewing materials foundations produce, like tax returns and annual reports.

Our articles also refer to some grants the foundations themselves reported from 2012 and 2013 but have not yet been provided to the Foundation Center.

Because some of the grants referred to in these articles and graphics were made to organizations that focus primarily on high-school success, or to media organizations, the Gates foundation does not consider them part of its postsecondary-success program. We believe our broader set of grants fully reflects the scope of the foundation’s work in higher education. The grant data include “year issued,” which refers to the calendar year when the grant was approved, and not necessarily when funds were disbursed, which can happen multiple times through the life of a grant, particularly with multi-year grants. The “descriptions” included in each grant were provided to the Foundation Center by the grantors.