Strada Education Network was founded as USA Funds in 1960 by a group of business leaders who were concerned about the rising cost of a college education. Since then, the nonprofit corporation has engaged in a range of philanthropic activities and partnerships, policy research, programs, and services that enhance preparation for, access to, and success in higher education.
Today, the organization has shifted its focus from financial access to education, to “helping more students succeed in postsecondary education and graduate with the skills and competencies they need to smoothly transition to their careers and lives following graduation.” Over the decades, it has served more than 22 million students and parents with financial aid for higher education and has also provided support for thousands of education and financial institutions, nationwide.
Each year, the organization invests in the communities in which its staff works and lives. For example, in 2016, Strada Education Network employees volunteered 1,309 hours at dozens of organizations across Central Indiana. The organization also supports nonprofits like Faces of Fatherhood, Community Health Foundation, Catch the Stars Foundation, and more. Thanks to the organization’s matching gifts program, Strada Education Network and its employees gave nearly $200,000 in philanthropic gifts last year.
The organization has partnered with HSF since 2000, providing funding for HSF scholarships and related student support services, and supports a number of additional philanthropies geared towards educating and preparing students to work in today’s economy.