Awarded Grants


This program enables two Mississippi community colleges (selected via an RFP process), to join the Achieving the Dream (ATD) network of more than 222 institutions nationwide, and counting!  These two colleges will work for four years to improve persistence and completion rates on their campuses with the support of all the talent and resources of ATD, including its staff, coaches, and peer learning opportunities as well as ATD’s capacity building methodology that enables colleges to examine their own data and then create action plans to achieve goals that they set and make progress towards in coordination with ATD. Read more about this awarded grant here.


Achieving the Dream was convened by the Lumina Foundation in 2004 as a comprehensive non-governmental reform movement for student success. Together with a national network of higher education institutions, coaches and advisors, state policy teams, investors and partners, more than 4 million community college students have a better economic opportunity and achieve their dreams.In partnership with the State Financial Aid Department, the Institution of Higher Learning has been granted funds to develop a collaborative and interactive website. This platform will allow users may successfully navigate resources to assist in their higher education journey and increase engagement among K-12 and postsecondary audiences. This website will be a knowledge-base for virtual resource for educators, parents, counselors, high school, college, and nontraditional students. See the current state financial aid website here

PHI THETA KAPPA | Golden Opportunity Scholarship

Phi Theta Kappa International Honor Society has 34 chapters in Mississippi’s 15 community colleges. In 2015, nearly 4,000 students accepted membership, but this number represents only 15 percent of the 26,500 Mississippi students who were extended membership invitations. Phi Theta Kappa  received its initial grant from WHEF  to fund membership scholarships for 750 low-income Mississippi community college students. This grant is has been renewed and evaluated with positive reports for student persistence and completion for the 2016-17 school year.To be eligible for Phi Theta Kappa membership, students must generally have a 3.5 GPA and completed at least 12 credit hours at a community college. The organization then works with them throughout the remainder of their academic careers to encourage and support completion through honors programs, leadership and service opportunities and scholarship funds. Learn more about Phi Theta Kappa here.