Horizons Newsletter: New WA state grant opportunity

Students in graduation robes

Help your region’s students explore new Horizons

The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation’s Washington State team is launching a Request for Proposals to join Horizons. Horizons will provide focused investments in three regional partnerships ready to expand or scale to help more students transition from K-12 into postsecondary education.

  • We will select three partnerships through Horizons, with up to $5.4 million in funding available for each partnership over the course of three school years.
  • Local partnerships should prioritize efforts to improve college and career advising programs in their specific regions.
  • In addition to grant funding, Horizons partnerships will have access to technical assistance to learn more about high-quality advising programs.
  • They’ll also receive support to build their data capacity so they can access, analyze, and apply data to continue refining and improving programs to meet student needs.

Regional partnerships must meet some basic requirements to respond to the RFP.

  • Partnerships must include at least one K-12 district and one higher education institution in the same region, as well as a “backbone” organization—often a nonprofit, community-based organization, or service provider—that brings partners together and coordinates efforts to achieve a common goal.
  • These partners must be already working together on solutions that are informed by local needs and designed to support students transitioning from high school to postsecondary programs.
  • They also must have existing programming that focuses on students who face the most significant barriers—including Black, Latino, and Indigenous students, and students from low-income and rural communities.

What’s next: RFP submissions are due by September 22 at 5 p.m. PT.

Horizons regional grant opportunity
Why we’re launching Horizons

Why we’re launching Horizons

We spent six months talking to more than 200 community members to inform our education strategy in Washington state. Our focus on increasing postsecondary enrollment—and supporting locally led solutions—emerged from those conversations.

We’re launching Horizons today to act on our promise to our community and students.

  • Nearly 90% of high schoolers in Washington state say they want to pursue a postsecondary program after graduation.
  • Horizons will allow us to invest deeply in three regions to help explore programs, strategies, and tools that help students take the next step in their education and career journeys.
  • Our goal: to identify approaches that can be scaled across the state, so that all students benefit.
Three reasons we’re launching Horizons in Washington state
Nearly 90% of Washington's surveyed high schoolers say that they want to continue their education after high school. The Limitless learning network will explore ways to help them get there.

Reminder: Limitless applications due August 18

Don’t forget: The deadline closes soon to join the Limitless Learning Network!

  • Limitless, organized by Education First and separate from the Horizons initiative, is a collaborative statewide learning network that will focus on postsecondary enrollment.
  • The learning network will be made up of local K-12 and higher education partnerships.
  • Participants will share information, experiences, and expertise in removing barriers and supporting students in finding and following their path forward after high school.
  • You don’t need to apply to join Limitless to qualify for Horizons.

What’s next: Applications are due August 18, 2023.

Limitless Learning Network

Read next

June 2023 Newsletter: Our focus this summer — and beyond

As I shared in a recent blog post, in our work to ensure young people in Washington state have the opportunities they need to design the future they want, I always try to keep three students in the forefront of my mind.

May 2023 Newsletter: Our recent trip to Yakima

Learning from regional partners who are helping students make a successful transition from high school to postsecondary.

April 2023 Newsletter: How Washington’s college enrollment ranks nationally

Nearly 90% of high school students in Washington want to pursue a postsecondary education after high school. However, new data shows that fewer students are taking that step.