student achievement

Education is the foundation for a successful life. For a child, quality education means better opportunities for employment, higher earnings, and good health. For the community, these benefits compound to result in more employed and engaged citizens. As the great equalizer, education is the surest path toward a share in the American dream. In Greater New Haven, with its high numbers of poor and low-income residents, the challenges are great. 

The disparity in educational outcomes in Greater New Haven, like the rest of the nation, tracks closely with income levels. Stresses associated with poverty are known to have a  profound impact on early brain development. Without early intervention and quality preschool experiences, low-income students are at risk of starting kindergarten at a disadvantage that persists throughout their time in school. 

In Connecticut, the unemployment rate of a high school dropout is about twice that of a high school graduate and three times as high as a college graduate. Incarceration rates are three times as high for dropouts as compared to high school graduates. Educational achievement is also linked to high rates of voting and civic engagement, lower rates of divorce and out of wedlock childbirth, better health, lower crime rates, less dependence on social services and longer lives. Read more.

Our Leadership Strategy

Across the region, The Community Foundation for Greater Haven is committed to addressing education disparity and believes 
that education is the base upon which long-term social progress is built. Our grantmaking history has long reflected this view. 

Over the last decade, The Community Foundation has invested more than $11 million in discretionary funds to programs that 
promote quality early childhood care and education, foster parental involvement in a child’s learning, support charter schools, improve high school graduation rates and assist students in pursuing a college degree. Recent investments include $1 Million in the Connecticut Center for Arts & Technology (ConnCAT), an education center that teaches urban youth and young adults job skills that are relevant in today’s marketplace.

In addition to a 4-year commitment to New Haven Promise of up to $2 Million, The Community Foundation also manages approximately 100 separate scholarship funds (including funds of the Valley Community Foundation) that distribute nearly $500,000 annually. 

The Goal

To reduce educational disparities by increasing access to quality education and improving student achievement. 


New Haven Promise

The Community Foundation believes that the quality of students’ education is critical to the future of Greater New Haven, including its economic development, equal opportunity for all, and residents’ overall quality of life. With that understanding, on November 9, 2010, The Community Foundation joined with the City of New Haven, New Haven Public Schools & Yale University to announce the scholarship program, New Haven Promise (NHP).

Education reform is a top priority for the state as it works to expand quality school opportunities for all residents. Locally, 
The Community Foundation for Greater New Haven is a partner with New Haven Public Schools in the nationally recognized 
New Haven School Change Initiative through its work as a major funder and administrator of New Haven Promise.

New Haven Promise promotes college as an aspiration for all students, builds community and parental engagement, and 
promotes economic development in the City of New Haven. New Haven Promise scholarships to qualifying graduates of New 
Haven Public Schools cover the full tuition to in-state public colleges and universities and a partial subsidy to in-state private 
colleges and universities.

A major strategy of New Haven Promise is to establish a college-going culture in the schools by engaging students and parents. For more information, visit

Scholarships at The Foundation

The Community Foundation is home to hundreds of scholarship opportunities for area high school graduates. While a small selection of scholarships are administered and awarded directly by The Community Foundation through its Board of Directors’ Scholarships Subcommittee, the majority of scholarships from Community Foundation funds are administered by schools or other organizations.

Scholarships at The Community Foundation are distributed throughout the year from more than 100 funds. Of the scholarships available, only four are managed by The Foundation's Education Sub-committee. This Sub-committee is made up of Community Foundation Board members, staff and community volunteers and determines scholarship recipients in the Spring of each year. 

Transforming an Urban School System

The RAND Corporation independent report, "Transforming an Urban School System," finds that both New Haven Promise and School Change reforms are making progress towards their goals and a college-going culture is being cultivated in New Haven public schools. Read More »

Spreading Reading's Power in New Haven

This area nonprofit promotes literacy among youth through after-school and tutoring programs. Read More »

Improving Learning by Diffusing Disruptive Behaviors

The Educational Care Collaborative works with students at two Hamden schools, and their parents, to ensure that every child gets the most out of the classroom experience. Read More »


70 Audubon Street
New Haven, CT 06510


(203) 777-2386

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