Announcing Finalists of the Rise Prize

26 Finalists From More Than 300 Applications Selected for Innovative Solutions Aimed at Supporting Student Parent Success
Vinice Davis
Venture Partner
Cindy Minn
Extern, Imaginable Futures


Today, along with Lumina Foundation and ten

leading partner organizations

, we are thrilled to announce 26 incredible finalists for the Rise Prize. In February, we launched the

Rise Prize

to increase awareness about the unique needs of student parents and increase the number of impactful and effective solutions accelerating their postsecondary success.

Student parents are an often-overlooked, yet important population representing nearly 20 million parents pursuing postsecondary degrees or credentials. They are incredibly motivated to achieve economic mobility and overall family well-being, not just for themselves but also for their children, and postsecondary success is the one of the most evidenced drivers of economic mobility and well-being. Student parents’ postsecondary success is an equity issue. Student parents are highly diverse from a gender and racial perspective. According to research from the Institute for Women’s Policy Research, 70% of student parents are women and Black college students are the most likely to be parents (2 out 5 Black women in college are parents).In addition, 21% of Hispanic students, 21% of White students, 20% of students of more than one race, and 13% of Asian students are parents.

We received more than 300 applications throughout the US for a wide range of solutions, including early stage proposals seeking to pilot new ideas and mature solutions that have had a proven track record of impact. In light of the COVID-19 pandemic, we extended the deadline, increased the total prize pool by 50% to $1.5 million and increased the number of prizes from 10 to 14. We saw solutions that address the needs of student parents along our “C” framework, ranging from childcare and flexible and convenient pathway options to a community of support that includes mental health and coaching solutions. Solutions span 2-year, 4-year, vocational/workforce, nonprofit and for-profit sectors with diverse team leadership. A robust report outlining the Rise Prize proposed solutions and how they address the systematic barriers of student parents will be published in the Fall.

These finalists will now be paired with leading experts in their respective fields to receive advising and coaching on their solutions before virtually presenting to a panel of esteemed judges in late June.

During this dark and challenging time in our nation’s history, we are uplifted and inspired by the dedication of our community and are honored by the opportunity to continue learning about and partnering with these incredible finalists. Stay tuned for our announcement of the 14 winners in early July - , 5 winners within the Mature Stage category will receive $200,000, 8 Early Stage winners will receive $50,000 each, and there will be one the including a Risers’ Choice award of $100,000⁠—selected by two of our judges who are student parents!

Congratulations to the 26 Rise Prize finalists!

Early Stage

ASUbot Student-Parents Program
Tempe, AZ
The ASUbot Student-Parents Program enhances Arizona State University's chatbot app to support student parents by connecting them with support resources on campus, online, and in the community to help them successfully complete their bachelor’s degrees.

Atlanta, GA
BestFit is a web platform that empowers student parents to design their own social safety nets—providing a one-stop shop for on-campus, community, government, and philanthropic resources.

Cell-Ed’s Rise Together
Palo Alto, CA
Rise Together will offer College and WorkReady programming co-created by student parents to anyone with a mobile device - even a feature phone without internet - to bridge skill gaps and offer certificate programs and coaching support individualized to every parent learner.

Congreso de Latinos Unidos’ Parent Success Team
Philadelphia, PA
Congreso de Latinos Unidos’ Parent Success Team will use human-centered design and innovative experimentation methods to develop targeted programming for parents in eastern North Philadelphia to improve skills, achieve credentials, and obtain and maintain employment.

Everett Community College’s Weekend College for Parents
Everett, WA
Everett Community College’s Weekend College for Parents is a holistic approach that will help parents complete a degree or credential leading to economic mobility and stronger families by pairing weekend-only college coursework with access to essential student services, including drop-in child care.

Fathers to the Finish Line - a program of Morehouse College
Atlanta, GA
Fathers to the Finish Line creates a platform for providing student parents with holistic support through access to resources, including mentorship, professional development/career readiness and leadership training.

FutureGrad by Yenko
Brooklyn, NY
FutureGrad is a financial aid eligibility platform that provides targeted and timely analytics, alerts, and recommendations to ensure that student parents maintain the financial aid necessary to keep college affordable.

MOMs: From Education to Employment®
Buffalo, NY
MOMs: From Education to Employment®, a project of WNY Women’s Foundation, moves single moms and their children out of poverty by eliminating barriers to completing an education at community colleges in Buffalo and Western New York.

Native Parent Scholars
Denver, CO
Native Parent Scholars is a holistic coaching program centered on Native cultural identities in higher education. The program is part of Native Pathways at the American Indian College Fund focused on financial supports, academic progression and career readiness for Native, first generation, single mothers.

Parenting Advancement Pathways (PAP) - an initiative of Bristol Community College
Fall River, MA
Parenting Advancement Pathways (PAP) promotes economic mobility by providing holistic supports and skills to help low-income single parents, from diverse backgrounds, move toward economic independence.

Tucson, AZ
Pathways, a project of the Women’s Foundation of Southern Arizona, is a multi-pronged, two-generation program to fundamentally shift the futures of low-income families by providing access to an innovative combination of educational and economic opportunities for single mothers and their children.

Risers Circle
Ashburn, VA
Risers Circle connects student parents with qualified caregivers and curated content for online child-minding sessions that provide parents the focus time needed to succeed in online education and home study.

Rung for Women
St. Louis, MO
Rung for Women accelerates economic mobility and overall well-being for women and their families through curated career pathways and a holistic program that addresses barriers faced by student parents.

The Two Generation Classroom - an initiative of Wellesley Centers for Women
Wellesley, MA
The Two Generation Classroom innovates undergraduate curricula, through models of teaching/learning whereby students learn college level material with children as learning buddies.

Mature Stage

Career Pathways for Early Educators
Boston, MA
Neighborhood Villages’ Career Pathways for Early Educators offers student parents tuition-free, parent-centered pathways to obtaining teaching credentials, college credits, and careers in early education and care.

College Unbound
Providence, RI
College Unbound provides a bachelor’s degree designed for working and parenting adults, where student passion drives learning and transformation, reframing life experiences and gaining real skills to realize and release student potential.

Compete LA - a program of the University of Louisiana System
Baton Rouge, LA
Compete LA, a program of the University of Louisiana System, seeks to re-engage the 653,000 Louisianans with some college credit but no degree by providing innovative supports such as individual coaching to match students to programs with adult-friendly features and flat-rate tuition to aid with degree completion.

Concourse Education
Richmond, CA
Concourse enables working students and student parents to earn a job-relevant bachelor’s degree in 2-3 years for less than $10,000 total.

Brooklyn, NY
Edquity is an end-to-end provider of emergency cash grants and social services referrals for student parents, helping student parents overcome financial obstacles on their way to postsecondary credentials.

Family Scholar House
Louisville, KY
Family Scholar House empowers single-parent students and their children to succeed in education and achieve lifelong self-sufficiency by providing affordable housing, childcare, advocacy, and educational and family support systems necessary for parents to focus on their goals and raise their children in a college-going environment.

Jeremiah Program
Minneapolis, MN
Jeremiah Program provides holistic, wraparound support through virtual and hybrid programming. Adapted from a proven model, it will equip single moms experiencing poverty with tools and resources to navigate and surmount the artificial and systemic barriers they face with enrollment, persistence, and graduation from postsecondary education.

Los Angeles Valley College Family Resource Center
Valley Glen, CA
The Los Angeles Valley College Family Resource Center supports student parents to meet their educational, career, and life goals by providing on-campus services such as mentorship, kid-friendly study lounges, family play groups, a dedicated social worker, and more.

Monroe Community College Student-Parent Connection
Rochester, NY
The Monroe Community College Student-Parent Connection provides student parents the opportunity to enroll in short-term, highly impactful training/academic programs supported by high-touch, tailored, and connective family-friendly services designed to accelerate them from pre-enrollment to job attainment.

TechBridge’s Technology Career Program
Atlanta, GA
TechBridge’s Technology Career Program is a free 16-week program that provides technical training, certification, financial literacy, ongoing mentoring, job placement, and social services to low-income parents, preparing them to earn a livable wage and a sustainable career in the technology sector.

The Prison University Project
San Quentin State Prison, CA
The Prison University Project at San Quentin State Prison provides higher education for incarcerated parents, which is a life-changing opportunity to break intergenerational cycles of inequality and incarceration, improve employment opportunities post-release, and create a better life for them and their children.

Upswing Integrated Student Services
Austin, TX
Upswing Integrated Student Services connects struggling nontraditional and online students with critical on-campus tutors, advisors, support counselors, and more via a single platform. Live interactions are supported by data analytics on student performance and likelihood of success.

Learn more about the Rise Prize: