The Michelson Spark Grant program wrapped up our Phase 3 funding round on March 23rd. We extended the request for proposals by a week in response to requests from non-profit partners who were dealing with the rise of the COVID-19 crisis. Toward the end of the cycle we received numerous proposals around needs organizations have during the current public health crisis. Therefore, we used a portion of Phase 3 funds to support organizations dealing with COVID-19 whose work aligns with the key target outcomes of the funding round.

uAspire was awarded a grant in Phase 3 to assist their work in the current COVID-19 environment. uAspire has 35 years of experience supporting students with their college affordability needs and is widely recognized as the nation’s leader on college affordability advising and training. They work to ensure students minimize their prospective debts and make responsible financial decisions regarding post secondary choices. uAspire reaches 295,000 students in 20 states across the country via direct advising and training and technical assistance for practitioners, and has played an important role in shaping policy and systems change that last year benefitted over 390,000 students. 

The Michelson Spark Grant will support for uAspire’s comprehensive COVID-19 response efforts to provide virtual advising to over 12,000 students and online technical assistance support for hundreds of practitioners in the wake of our nation’s public health crisis. This response includes:

  • Development of new text messages and response flows to ensure support of students virtually
  • Research of individual college policies and practices relative to COVID-19 to provide personalized support to practitioners, students, and families
  • Additional virtual college affordability training for practitioners
  • Creation of a virtual Financial Aid Help Desk to support school partners as they navigate the financial aid process with their students in this new reality with few resources 
  • New and additional training for uAspire’s college affordability advisors as the financial aid timeline shifts as a result of COVID-19

The Michelson 20MM Foundation and its initiatives are made possible by the generous support of Gary K. Michelson, M.D. and his wife, Alya Michelson. We are currently funding an entire round specifically around the response to the COVID-19 crisis. To learn more please visit our webpage or sign up for notifications via the form below.