Our Approach

The College Access Foundation of California is committed to increasing the number of low-income students who attend and complete college across the state.  Each year, the Foundation awards grants to dozens of partner organizations across California.  This funding helps finance college scholarships for more than 4,000 low-income and historically underrepresented students and supports efforts to help even more students enroll in college and graduate.

Our Goals and Strategies

As part of our efforts to help qualified low-income students enroll and graduate from college, the Foundation aims to increase the number of students who receive public financial aid and improve graduation rates for low-income students.

In 2011, we identified three broad grantmaking strategies to focus our resources on programs and organizations that can help us meet our goals and advance the Foundation’s mission. The Foundation awards grants for program support and scholarship funding to organizations that share our commitment to advancing the following strategies:

  • Improving financial aid advising: Low-income students face significant economic barriers to college, and many have limited access to information about financial aid.  The Foundation funds and supports organizations with the ability to help significant numbers of low-income students obtain public financial aid.

  • Helping more students complete the FAFSA: Completing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) opens numerous opportunities for low-income students to qualify for public financial aid.  The Foundation funds and supports efforts to help more students understand and complete the FAFSA in high schools or school districts with significant low-income student populations.

  • Providing more support services for college students: Low-income and first-generation students often lack the support systems they need to successfully transition to college and graduate.  The Foundation funds and supports efforts to implement innovative and collaborative tools, resources, and programming that bolster support services to increase graduation rates among low-income college students.

Applying for Grants

For more information about the Foundation’s grantmaking and to learn how your organization may apply for a grant, visit the Applying for Grants.

We support work in the Los Angeles area in partnership with the California Community Foundation. Through the Los Angeles Scholars Investment Fund (LASIF), our co-funding partnership with the California Community Foundation, eligible organizations working in Los Angeles may be considered for grants from one or both of our foundations.

Our Grantmaking Blueprint

To learn more about the Foundation’s grantmaking, read Broadening Our Approach and Expanding Our Impact, a blueprint for the Foundation’s work. This blueprint illustrates our efforts to reach more students through broader grantmaking strategies. Read the blueprint.