Skip to content Menu

Philanthropies Award NACUBO $3.8 Million in Grants to Advance Student Completion Efforts


(Washington, DC) – To develop strategic finance models that prioritize and sustain student equity, success, and completion initiatives, the National Association of College and University Business Officers (NACUBO) has been awarded a three-year grant from Ascendium Education Group. Additional support from College Futures and the Trellis Foundation will allow NACUBO to expand the reach of the project.

The $3.8 million funding will support a financial model study with 26 institutions that enroll high percentages of typically underserved students, including community colleges, small rural institutions, and small- to mid-size regional public institutions.

NACUBO, in strategic partnership with Sova, will facilitate the creation of frameworks, tools, and models that can move institutions towards sustainable, institution-wide financial and operational activities that increase equitable outcomes and completion for students. The work will particularly focus on ways to increase guided pathways and improve transfer outcomes.

To achieve these outcomes, chief business officers from a diverse set of institutions will contribute their expertise. With support from NACUBO subject matter experts and higher education leaders, participating schools will assess needs and barriers, develop and test revised approaches to strategic finance activities, and build scalable frameworks and tools. Work will be completed with the intention of establishing models and processes that can be replicated or leveraged by other institutions, with customization. The resources developed will be available on NACUBO’s website as the project progresses. 

Participating institutions include—

Alamo Colleges (Texas)

Atlantic Cape Community College (New Jersey)

Bennett College (North Carolina)

California State University, San Bernadino

CUNY Brooklyn College (New York)

Central Lakes College (Minnesota)

Cincinnati State Community College (Ohio)

Concordia University (Texas)

El Camino College (California)

Great Falls College Montana State University

Kalamazoo Valley Community College (Michigan)

Muskingum University (Ohio)

New Mexico State University

North Park University (Illinois)

Riverside Community College (California)

Rutgers University – Newark

Sam Houston State University (Texas)

Sonoma State University (California)

South Central College (Minnesota)

South Florida State College

SUNY Empire State College

Stillman College (Alabama)

Tarleton State University (Texas)

University of New Orleans (Louisiana)

Western Oregon University

Wiley College (Texas)

Founded in 1962, the National Association of College and University Business Officers (NACUBO) is a nonprofit professional organization representing chief administrative and financial officers at more than 1,900 colleges and universities across the country. NACUBO’s mission is to advance the economic vitality, business practices, and support of higher education institutions in pursuit of their missions. For more information, visit

About Ascendium Education Group
Ascendium Education Group is committed to helping people reach the education and career goals that matter to them. We invest in projects designed to increase the number of students from low-income backgrounds who complete postsecondary degrees, certificates and workforce training programs, with an emphasis on first-generation students, incarcerated adults, rural community members, students of color and veterans. Our work identifies, validates and expands best practices to promote large-scale change at the institutional, system and state levels, with the intention of elevating opportunity for all. For more information, visit

About College Futures
College Futures Foundation works to ensure that more students who reflect the diversity of California complete a bachelor’s degree and access the opportunity for a better life. The Foundation’s strategies focus on catalyzing systemic transformation: supporting institutions to become equity-focused and student-ready, supporting equity-focused institutional leadership, reimagining higher education’s business model, removing structural barriers, smoothing pathways, and simplifying access to financial and holistic supports. For more information, visit

About Trellis Foundation
Trellis Foundation advances equitable educational opportunities in Texas by supporting postsecondary programs, practices and systems that reduce disparities and lead to success for low-income students and students of color. The Foundation’s focus areas are: holistic student needs, streamlining student pathways, and reconnecting learners. For more information, visit

About Sova
Sova focuses on improving the quality and accelerating the pace of complex problem solving in the areas of higher education and workforce development. Animated by a core commitment to advancing socioeconomic mobility for more Americans, Sova pursues its mission through distinctive approaches to will-building, strategic planning, change leadership and process improvement. For more information, visit


Katy McCreary

Director, Public Relations


Contact Consulting

Jim Hundrieser

Vice President, Consulting and Business Development

(202) 861-2539