Two Generations. One Future.

Ascend at the Aspen Institute is a hub for breakthrough ideas and collaborations that move children and their parents toward educational success and economic security. Ascend takes a two-generation approach to our work – focusing on children and their parents together – and we bring a gender and racial equity lens to our analysis.

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RFP Submission Guidelines for the Aspen Policy Acceleration Partnership Grants 


Investing in the postsecondary success of students who are parents is one of the most effective strategies for accelerating their economic and social mobility, addressing longstanding inequalities, and building state and local economies. Public sector agencies and their partners can build supportive pathways for student parents toward meaningful degrees and credentials that lead to careers with better pay and benefits.  …

Announcing: New Community of Family Prosperity Innovators


Our world has changed. The wave of uncertainty touched off by the pandemic is becoming an ongoing process of relearning how to live, work and care for our families. A powerful national movement for racial justice around the world is making clear that we need a new social contract. Our nation faces a reckoning with…

An Evidence-Based Approach to Child Support

Record levels of job loss, economic instability, and family isolation during the pandemic have raised the child support policy stakes for fathers, families, and communities. Through careful and rigorous research, we know that there is a better way to approach child support policy to build strong families and communities. Across the country – states, counties, and tribes…

Ascend National Advisors are Taking Action to Combat COVID-19 and Support Student Parents

Although the COVID-19 pandemic threw off the day-to-day lives of people across the country, that did not stop nonprofits, health and human services, workforce programs, higher education professionals and more from creating rapid response services to support student parents. The Ascend National Advisors, a cohort of 23 leaders providing supports for student parents and inform…