RFP Submission Guidelines for the Aspen Policy Acceleration Partnership Grants 

David Croom | September 16, 2020 | Aspen Postsecondary Success for Parents, Webinars

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 

The request for proposal (RFP) for the Aspen Policy Acceleration Partnership Grants was designed by the Ascend PSP National Advisors in collaboration with Imaginable Futures and the ECMC Foundationto guide cities, counties, and states to spur economic mobility and increase well-being by investing in the potential of student parentsAscend at the Aspen Institute will award 18-month grants of up to $150K to three public sector entities to work in partnership with stakeholders – such as peer agencies, community-based organizations, philanthropy, and employers – to ensure that policies, systems, and services lead to credentials and careers that provide living wages, access to opportunities for advancement, and continued learning in sectors with high growth and demand for parents. Selected grantees will also receive financial resources and technical assistance to accelerate current partnership efforts in their jurisdictions by increasing access to wraparound supports such as early childhood education, housing, health care, and more.  

The National Advisors are a group of 23 leaders from higher education institutions and nonprofit organizations who provide guidance on strategies and recommendations to support student parents based on their hands-on work experiencesThey inform theAspen Postsecondary Success for Parents (PSP) Initiativealong with the Parent Advisors and the Postsecondary Leadership Circle for Parents 

“It has been incredible to partner with others doing amazing work with student parents to construct an RFP that is responsive to the impacts of multilayered crises  health, economic, and racial injustice – on the educational journey of parents and their families,” says Michelle Rhone-Collins, chief executive officer of LIFT and an Ascend National Advisor. “I am full of hope that this will drive innovation through public and private partnership and create change that can remove structural barriers to success.”

The National Advisors and Ascend will select the three grantees, while the Parent Advisors will provide feedback to ensure parent voice is braided into the policies and programsOrganizations will be selected in January 2021.  

Being a student parent is incredibly difficult but one of the most difficult parts is feeling unheard  like nobody cares,” says Michaela Martin, second year law student at the University of LaVerne and an Ascend Parent Advisor. “Participating in the process of advocating for policy change gives me something to fight for and a way to be heard.” 

The powerpoint presentation from the informational webinar can be found here.

For more details on student parents, please refer to the following Ascend publications:

Important upcoming dates for submitting your organization’s proposal:  

  • Optional virtual office hours for interested applicants:
    • Wednesday, October 21, 2020 at 3 pm ET
    • Wednesday, November 18, 2020 at 3 pm ET; View recording here
  • Deadline for proposals: Friday, December 11, 2020
  • Notice of grantee selection decision to applicants: Friday, February 15, 2021
  • Public announcement (revised as of Feb. 5): Tuesday, March 9, 2021
  • Grant period (revised as of Feb. 5): March 15, 2021 through September 15, 2022

The RFP can be found here. The budget template is here. Find a list of frequently asked questions here. NOTE: Please include the budget narrative on the same page as the budget template. 

All proposals will be submitted through this form by 11:59 pm ET on Friday, December 11, 2020. Late proposals cannot be accepted.

Please direct any questions related to submission to David Croom, assistant director for postsecondary innovation and achievement, or Alexis Williams, communications associate, at aspenpapg@aspeninstitute.org.  

Photo of Generation Hope Scholar and daughter on the playground. Generation Hope is a nonprofit based in Washington, DC, providing wraparound, two-generation support to young parents in college and their pre-kindergarten little ones, and promoting student parents’ college completion through national advocacy and direct technical assistance to colleges and universities.

Related Posts

In episode 101 of the Office Hours with EAB podcast, David Croom shares compelling success stories and recommendations on creative ways for institutions to partner with local businesses and community leaders to offer more support and wraparound services to help student-parents succeed.
Aspen Postsecondary Success for ParentsApril 26, 2022
So our Ascend team was thrilled to host a virtual book talk with Nicole Lynn Lewis, author of Pregnant Girl: A Story of Teen Motherhood, College, and Creating a Better Future for Young Families.
Aspen Postsecondary Success for ParentsMarch 10, 2022
David Croom and our Postsecondary Success for Parents partners were featured in NPR discussing the opportunities for colleges and universities to make higher ed more accessible for parenting students. “Parents experience this concept called time poverty,” says David Croom, the assistant director for postsecondary achievement and innovation at Ascend at the Aspen Institute. “They have about …

4 Tips for Parents and Caregivers Who Want to Go to College Read More »

Aspen Postsecondary Success for ParentsFebruary 21, 2022
Student parents are a key population - one that represents over 20 percent of the postsecondary student population and the state of California. How can the state’s systems prepare for this key population?
Aspen Postsecondary Success for ParentsJanuary 11, 2022
It took me many years as a professional in the world of higher education before I had a personal epiphany: for me and my family, our academic success as student parents was not only a two-generation (2Gen) strategy that uplifted me and my children, it was a four-generation strategy that set up our family’s success for generations to come.
Aspen Postsecondary Success for ParentsOctober 26, 2021
On Tuesday, June 1st, 2021, Ascend at the Aspen Institute’s Family Prosperity Innovation Community hosted a panel discussion about the recently proposed federal legislation on paid leave. This webinar presented how and why this proposed legislation matters and shared opportunities to advance paid leave locally and nationally. Watch Now https://vimeo.com/557745729 Presenters and Panelists Vicki Shabo …

Webinar: Accelerating Paid Leave for Families Read More »

June 3, 2021
Ascend at the Aspen Institute and The Jed Foundation Release a New Mental Health Framework with Recommendations for Supporting the Mental Health of Students Who Are Parents Washington, DC – A new study released today by Ascend at the Aspen Institute (Ascend) and The Jed Foundation (JED) finds that more than two in five (43 percent) …

New Study: Student Parents in College Experience Unique Mental Health Challenges but Lack Access to Support on Campus Read More »

PressMay 26, 2021
Shaquana Graham is a single mother of three beautiful children. She lives in The Bronx, NY, and is currently a full-time student at Bronx Community College.
Aspen Postsecondary Success for ParentsMay 24, 2021
After Yoslin had her first son, she knew she had to go to college and earn her degree to break her family’s cycle of poverty. During that time, she applied to become a Generation Hope scholar and has been part of their program for four years.
Aspen Postsecondary Success for ParentsMay 17, 2021
Hailing from Denver, Colorado, Lesley Del Rio and her son Leo enjoy all the great activities that the state offers. She graduated from Florence Crittenton High School in 2013 and is working toward her B.A. degree in business administration through an online platform called AdvanceEDU and Southern New Hampshire University.
Aspen Postsecondary Success for ParentsMay 10, 2021
Lynnette Coney is a mother to three boys, ages four, eight, and 10. Lynnette grew up in foster care from 1992 to 2003, which endowed her with a strong sense of independence.
Aspen Postsecondary Success for ParentsMay 3, 2021
Rashika Lee was born and raised in Grand Rapids, MI. She currently works for Spectrum Health on the Patient Liability Support Team and helps patients understand billing and insurance.
Aspen Postsecondary Success for ParentsApril 26, 2021
Lorena is a single mother in the process of rebuilding her life. Though it has been challenging, she wouldn’t change a thing. Being a mother has not only been her greatest joy, but it has allowed her to find her vocation and pursue her lifelong love of health and science.
Aspen Postsecondary Success for ParentsApril 19, 2021
Sydney is currently a pre-law student. She spends most of her free time with her 22-month-old daughter Amiyah, painting, going for walks, and spending time with friends and family.
Aspen Postsecondary Success for ParentsApril 12, 2021
Ariel Ventura-Lazo is a first-generation American and the first in his family to attend college. He currently studies Business Management, and is entering his senior year at George Mason University in Fairfax, VA.
Aspen Postsecondary Success for ParentsApril 5, 2021