Millions-of-dollars initiative to test new education delivery approaches

USA Funds invests $3 million in education innovation accelerator

education-innovationUSA Funds has announced a $3 million investment in the Jefferson Education Accelerator, which will identify, test and nurture innovative education technology solutions.

An initiative of the University of Virginia Curry School of Education Foundation, the accelerator will support education technology entrepreneurs with consulting, mentoring, testing, piloting and financing.

“We are pleased to serve as lead investor in this education innovation accelerator as part of our focus on Completion With a Purpose,” said William D. Hansen, USA Funds president and CEO. “We believe that emerging technologies hold great promise for reshaping the pathway to and through college and on to rewarding careers and fulfilling futures for our nation’s students.”

Although best known for its historic role as a student loan guarantor, during the past year, USA Funds has made significant investments in initiatives that promote completion of postsecondary education and training programs with a strong connection to success following graduation.

(Next page: Unique aspects of the education accelerator)

USA Funds is advancing Completion With a Purpose through grant-making, policy research, and investments in new solutions, such as the Jefferson Education Accelerator.

A unique aspect of the Jefferson Education Accelerator that made it especially attractive to USA Funds is its ability to test new education innovations.

“The accelerator will apply the expertise of faculty, students, teachers and administrators to identify which innovations will work in a ‘real-world’ setting,” said Mark L. Pelesh, USA Funds, executive vice president, Corporate and Business Development. “This type of research is invaluable in helping both investors and educators support initiatives that will deliver the greatest impact.”

During the past year, USA Funds has awarded philanthropic grants totaling more than $20 million to initiatives that promote Completion With a Purpose.

USA Funds is a nonprofit corporation that supports Completion With a PurposeSM, building a more purposeful path for America’s students to and through college and on to rewarding careers and successful lives.

USA Funds pursues its nonprofit mission through philanthropic activities and partnerships, policy research, and programs and services that enhance preparation for, access to and success in higher education. Learn more at

Material from a press release was used in this report.

Laura Ascione