Why We Fund Higher Education

I’ve recently had the opportunity to discuss the Charles Koch Foundation’s higher education giving with leaders from a wide range of businesses and philanthropic organizations, including many who support our nation’s colleges and universities. Together we share a common conviction that it is essential to fund the visions and interests of schools across the country so they can expand access for students and citizens to exciting education programs and ideas.

Private philanthropy is a key element that enables American colleges and universities to succeed. Thankfully, this is a country where many individuals and foundations are more than generous with their resources to support higher education.  In fact, last year, institutions of higher learning raised a record-breaking $37 billion in private support. We are privileged to provide even a small portion of that funding.

The Charles Koch Foundation has been supporting research and education programs focused on advancing an understanding of the institutions that enable individual and societal well-being for decades.  We recently released requests for proposals to study criminal justice and policing reform, toleration, technology and innovation, cronyism, and foreign policy. Higher education is a core institution that advances an understanding of the institutions that enable well-being. It is where ideas are discovered, refined, and shared. That scholarly process requires that academics and students be free to pursue their interests, their research, and their conclusions. It requires universities and colleges to offer a diversity of ideas. That is why we support professors who add to the variety of ideas available on college campuses. Our approach to support for universities is set out in our Guiding Principles.

The Charles Koch Foundation is committed to supporting a diversity of ideas in higher education, and in so doing advancing understanding of how to improve well-being throughout society. That is why I’m so excited about our current projects and future growth, and the opportunity to participate in this recent seminar. If you have a proposal for us, or know someone who does, I would encourage you to please submit it. We look forward to hearing from you.

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06-30-2020 01:56pm

Rivet School: Redesigning the college experience for working adults

In the face of COVID-19 — and with $100,000 in philanthropic support from the Charles Koch Foundation — Rivet announced Pay It Forward, a new program that allows students to enroll and pay no tuition during the course of their studies.

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06-29-2020 03:33pm

Cornell’s Yale-Loehr on Supreme Court’s DACA decision

Stephen Yale-Loehr, a law professor at Cornell and a Charles Koch Foundation (CKF) grantee, commented on the DACA decision in several news outlets, including on National Public Radio (NPR), and in The Associated Press, The New York Times and Chicago Tribune.

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College Pulse survey shows students believe online learning could be improved

The Charles Koch Foundation (CKF) and College Pulse have released the results of a new survey showing that while college students were somewhat underwhelmed with higher education’s rapid transition to online learning, they are optimistic that online learning will improve in the future.

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