Access to Higher Education

New Haven Promise has disbursed more than $6.2 million in scholarships to more than 1,000 students and their families in New Haven.

New Haven Promise is a transformative program that provides free tuition to Connecticut public colleges and universities for qualifying New Haven public school graduates. It is the Community Foundation’s largest programmatic funding initiative and represents our deep commitment to creating opportunity for the next generation.

New Haven Promise was founded in 2010 by The Community Foundation, Yale University and New Haven Public Schools with the goal of making higher education accessible to all New Haven students, regardless of family income.

In addition to receiving tuition, New Haven Promise scholars are connected to careers through paid internships with a network of partner organizations.

The Community Foundation is also home to hundreds of independent scholarship funds for students throughout the region.

Early Childcare

Before kindergarten, children have already developed many of the basic brain connections that impact their ability to learn. Learn more about why early education matters.

When the state of Connecticut passed legislation to improve coordination among all agencies that work with young children, it invited the philanthropic community to help. The result was the Connecticut Early Childhood Funders Collaborative, an innovative public/private venture hosted by the Connecticut Council for Philanthropy.

The collaborative of 14 original funders, including The Community Foundation for Greater New Haven, worked with state officials to manage a planning process that led to the creation of the Office of Early Childhood. The effort connected the work of 8 different divisions within 5 state agencies, improving the state’s delivery of quality services to young children.

Preparing Immigrant Students for College

Elm City Internationals provides one-on-one tutoring to prepare its kids for college. Photo credit: Ian Christmann

A grant to Elm City Internationals supported a college preparatory reading and writing program with college follow-through services for primarily immigrant student athletes who are English Language Learner (ELL) students.

ECI was able to provide each student with 6 additional hours of writing instruction each week with a 1:2 student/tutor ratio and expanded its reach to serve its first ever cohort of 8 rising 5th and 6th grade students.

Doctors Prescribe Reading to Young Children ›


Reach Out and Read continues to make books and reading part of well-child visits during the pandemic.

Experience Corps Creates Opportunities for Young Students and Older Volunteers ›


A program at the Agency on Aging of South Central Connecticut is places older volunteers as reading tutors in New Haven schools.

High Quality Childcare for Teenage Parents ›


Student Parenting and Family Services provides high-quality care and support for high school parents and their families.

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Recent Grant Awards

  • Connecticut Appleseed Center for Law & Justice, Inc. - $60,000 to support the expansion of the Connecting through Literacy: Incarcerated Parents, Children and Caregivers, which strengthens bonds between incarcerated parents and their children using mentorship and literacy before and after the parent is released from prison.

  • Elm City Robo Squad - $6,000 to support an after-school robotics program providing STEM experiences for inner-city New Haven high school students.

  • Gateway Community College Foundation, Inc. - $79,500 to support the pilot of the Family Economic Security Program, which provides wraparound services for students to increase college degree attainment.

  • James Blackstone Memorial Library - $75,000 to support building renovations to increase accessibility for seniors and families with young children, accommodate the needs of teens, and provide more meeting space and opportunities to learn and acquire technology skills.

  • Junior Achievement of Southwest New England, Inc.
    $10,000 to support financial literacy, workforce readiness, and entrepreneurship programming for Greater New Haven high school students.

  • New Haven Free Public Library Foundation - $105,000 to support Stetson Library: The Next Chapter, a fundraising campaign to move the Stetson Library into the re-imagined Q House with an expanded collection, improved community services, new furnishings, and state-of-the-art equipment and technology.

  • Student Parenting and Family Services, Inc. - $18,500 to provide general operating support for child care, parenting education and support services to teenage parents attending public school in New Haven.