Press Release | Jun 2020

Koret announces $50 million in grants to Bay Area colleges and universities

The grants will go to 12 different schools to fund programs, expand access, improve affordability, and create opportunities for collaboration between schools

SAN FRANCISCO – The Koret Foundation today announced more than $50 million in new grants to Bay Area colleges and universities. The goal of these grants is to increase access to education for the growing number of students who face obstacles to success; create and expand new models for learning; modernize campus technology and infrastructure; and strengthen relationships between institutions in the U.S. and Israel. In addition to students, the grants will directly support faculty and staff, campus programs and initiatives, new and existing on-campus facilities, and the priorities and vision of each school’s leadership.

The grants come at a time when many institutions were already dealing with significant organizational and funding issues facing higher education, which are now even more pressing due to the coronavirus crisis. They will help campuses to rebuild and recover in the wake of the pandemic. Altogether, the grants will directly benefit students, faculty and staff across 12 different schools, including nearly 2,000 first-generation Koret Scholars program participants, as well as thousands of recipients of scholarships, research grants, mentorship programs, career preparation and other services.

“Investing in the next generation of talent, innovation and leadership is critical in order to ensure that all students, including the disadvantaged, have the opportunity to lead productive and successful lives,” said Dr. Michael Boskin, president of the Koret Foundation. “Koret’s Higher Education Initiative seeks to support key academic institutions in the Bay Area and fund programs that can spark new thinking, facilitate partnerships, and contribute to student success. Universities were already facing challenges, which are now deepened and accelerated by the coronavirus and recession. We believe now is a critical time to provide long-term support for these institutions.”

The following are recipients of the new grants:

  1. UC Berkeley, $12 million: Supporting programs for recruitment and retention of the highest caliber scholars and faculty; supporting first-generation college students; and building a more inclusive academic culture.
  2. Stanford University, $11.7 million: Supporting programs that connect students and faculty across disciplines to advance knowledge and research; encouraging collaborations between American and Israeli researchers; and strengthening the campus community.
  3. University of San Francisco, $5 million: Supporting college success for underserved students and preparing students for the Bay Area’s tech economy; investing in recruiting, admitting and retaining more transfer students; and expanding veterans’ scholarship programs.
  4. UC San Francisco, $4 million: Supporting UCSF’s fund to recruit and retain faculty in the high cost-of-living Bay Area and in its competitive job market; and preparing minority students for careers in medically underserved communities.
  5. UC Davis, $4 million: Piloting a campus-wide career-prep initiative that focuses on experiential learning; funding programs to help prepare student-athletes for life after graduation; and expanding the Koret Scholars program to close gaps in college graduation and persistence rates.
  6. San Jose State University, $3 million: Supporting college and career achievement; expanding the pipeline of STEM graduates to include more minority students; and supporting veterans.
  7. Santa Clara University, $3 million: Creating a career pipeline for veterans and community college students; growing STEM enrollment to match the school’s position at the heart of Silicon Valley; and creating new partnerships with Israeli institutions.
  8. UC Santa Cruz, $2.25 million: Helping undergrads prepare for research and rigorous scholarship; and continuing support for the successful Koret Scholars program, which financially supports students and offers high-impact learning experiences.
  9. City College of San Francisco, $2 million: Supporting new course models and technology to include expanded online, hybrid-online and year-round class offerings, now an urgent priority; improving transfer and graduation rates; and supporting first-generation students.
  10. Sonoma State University, $2 million: Supporting STEM programs to include campus- and fieldbased immersion research and block scheduling that keeps students together; and adapting the successful Koret Scholars model to increase retention/graduation and reduce achievement gaps.
  11. CSU Monterey Bay, $1.63 million: Supporting students to complete their college studies in four years; providing impactful research opportunities for first-generation scholars; and preparing young people for community and national leadership roles.
  12. CSU East Bay, $350,000: Working to increase transfer rates from local community colleges through statewide partnerships between two- and four-year universities.

Koret’s higher education grants will be distributed over a period of five years, consistent with Koret’s core goal of supporting Bay Area higher education institutions to increase access to education, implement new ways of optimizing student success, improve completion rates, and bolster career advancement opportunities. The grants come at a critical time as colleges and universities must develop, accelerate and expand new learning models during the COVID-19 pandemic, which compounds student challenges in affording housing, tuition and basic needs. These grants are the latest in Koret’s long-term commitment to these institutions and their students in addressing these many, growing challenges.

For a full list of grants, click here. To be connected with leaders and education experts from the Koret Foundation to discuss these grants, and the issue of higher education more broadly, please contact Tony Franquiz at 202-374-5393 or [email protected].

About the Koret Foundation

The Koret Foundation is committed to strengthening the Bay Area and supporting the Jewish community in the U.S. and Israel through strategic grantmaking to outstanding organizations. Grounded in historical Jewish principles and traditions, and dedicated to humanitarian values, the Foundation is committed to innovation, testing new ideas, and serving as a catalyst by bringing people and organizations together to help solve societal and systemic problems of common concern. Learn more about the Koret Foundation and its grantees at