All Grants

Postsecondary Education

Postsecondary Education

We partner with individuals and organizations that help students unlock their potential by making postsecondary education more effective, accessible, and adaptable to each learner’s unique potential.

The way we think about learning after high school has remained strikingly similar for well over half a century, despite advances in learning science and the emergence of new technologies that can help improve when, where, and how we learn. Poor completion rates, rising costs, and underprepared graduates underscore the gap between reality and the ideal in our postsecondary education system.

We are excited to support projects that focus on student-centric approaches, such as improved comprehension, more flexible curricular pathways, and on-demand programming that allows students to engage with the learning process throughout their lives.

The need and potential for a more dynamic landscape of learning pathways has never been greater, and we are proud to partner with innovative educators and entrepreneurs who are helping shape a better way.

Grant Description

The Charles Koch Foundation is committed to supporting projects that remove barriers to education that can unlock the potential of all learners. We are particularly interested in projects that:

  • Incentivize competency-based learning that considers student fulfillment and improves learning outcomes.
  • Provide the flexibility necessary to create individualized educational experiences that help students reach their potential and aspirations, at scale.
  • Identify new technologies and operating models that increase access to a variety of educational opportunities (including alternatives to four-year degree programs) while lowering costs.
  • Identify and address barriers to innovation within traditional postsecondary education, broadly defined.
  • Support the ecosystem necessary for continued growth and the creation of diverse educational pathways, such as stackable credentials, apprenticeships, and work-study programs.

Grant Criteria

  • A one-to-two-page abstract of the project on behalf of your university or college. The abstract should provide sufficient detail for reviewers to assess the nature and feasibility of the idea.*
  • A CV or résumé.*
  • A brief, itemized budget.*
  • Final projects should be original and meet the highest standards of their field, and must not have been previously published.

*Items are required in application.

Supporting Postsecondary Education


The COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted our lives significantly, affecting all of us in profound ways. As a part of that disruption, the crisis has underscored the challenges facing the future of postsecondary education, as classes have rapidly moved online, faculty have suddenly adapted to “remote” mentorship, and access to education resources has become a daily challenge.

Thankfully, #ResilientFaculty are showing the path forward by connecting with content providers and educational resources to ensure students continue to have quality learning experiences during this difficult time. We are here to help those who are transitioning to new platforms and innovators whose ideas have the potential to empower educators and learners to transform higher education for the long term.

Those innovators include organizations such as OpenStax and the Association of College and University Educators (ACUE) which, in just a matter of days, helped facilitate the transition of thousands of #ResilientFaculty to online classes. However, the challenge doesn’t stop there. The Charles Koch Foundation is committed to partnering with others to drive the long-term effort to remove barriers for faculty and students alike. Here is how you can help:

  • Distribute resources empowering both faculty and students to learn in new and creative ways.
  • Partner with us so we can help support solutions that help remove barriers for faculty, students, and others both on and off campus.
  • Share stories about #ResilientFaculty, mentors, non-profits, and others who are working to ensure students continue to have a world-class education in a period of great uncertainty.
  • This unfolding crisis not only reminds us about the importance of faculty and the connection they have with students as mentors during a time of distancing, but the critical resources they need to continue to provide a transformational experience.

In short, we are supporting a community of innovators who are showing how we can continue to learn safely while dealing with uncertainty – and we want you to be a part of it.


Funding levels are commensurate with the requirements of the research and the potential for the research to advance an understanding of critical issues. Accepted proposals may also receive support to disseminate the research findings.

Review & Notification Process

Proposals will be accepted and evaluated on a rolling basis.

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