If you’re interested in adding a finance lab to your school, you’re not alone. Many colleges and universities offer finance labs for their students and they are a great way to boost enrollment by showing that your school is serious about providing real-world, hands-on experiences for your students. They can also serve as a recruitment tool for a higher level of educator. A state-of-the-art finance lab will also create a sense of pride among alumni, visitors, and students. There are many benefits to creating a finance lab, no doubt, but when it comes to funding the project, that’s where many school officials need help.
Because we provide financial ticker displays for finance labs at many colleges and universities, we see this a lot in our business and we know the struggle is real. Fortunately, we can help. We’ve put together a list of resources you can use to find funding to make your finance lab a reality.
While there’s no question that a finance lab is desirable, obtaining the funding can be a challenge. A finance lab is expensive to set up and operate. It can easily cost $200,000 or more. Depending on the technologies and software employed, there are also annual licensing fees. Luckily, there are both internal and external sources you can turn to for funding:
Getting information on educational technology grants created for higher education isn’t exactly easy. Sure, there are entire firms dedicated to matching grants with grantees (for a fee), but most are for grades K–12 and low-income students and schools. While that’s great for them, post-secondary schools have to dig a little deeper to find grant money. There is no standardized process for grant application, and there is even grant management software to aid in discovering sources (further proof that the process is anything but straightforward). So if you’re determined to add a finance lab, here are some resources to explore.
While federal and state government agencies come to mind first, don’t forget that there are educational technology grants available from private companies, foundations, charities, and non-profit organizations as well. Also, there are grants for education programs in general, that don’t necessarily specify technology in the classroom, but that might cover a finance lab. Fortunately, there are a number of online databases that can help narrow down your search and provide information about various grants. Here are a few sources to investigate:
GrantWatch (geared toward non-profits, but includes universities)
GrantSelect (includes educational and research grants)
For members of the National Education Association, grants are available to public schools or public institutions of higher education. It is currently giving preference to proposals that incorporate STEM and/or global learning into projects.
Some states, including Maine, Delaware and Idaho, have made substantial commitments toward improving digital access and programs, according to the US Department of Education Office of Educational Technology. But state funding will vary. In some states, funds for professional development can be interpreted to cover professional development related to digital learning. Library, literacy, and career and technical funding often fall under the “digital learning” umbrella as well.
Local technology-focused companies may also offer grants for educational technology.
For instance, in Kansas City, the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation ensures that KC’s citizens have the postsecondary credentials necessary to meet regional workforce needs. They provide grants, including educational technology grants, to universities.
Private organizations are also a good place to look. From large tech corporations to individual foundations, your finance lab may qualify for funding.
Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation - announced $9 million in grants to support “breakthrough learning models” in post-secondary education.
The Chan Zuckerberg Initiative (Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg and wife Priscilla Chan) - donated $308 million in education grants since January 2016, focused on personalizing the student learning experience and teacher training. Visit Chalkbeat for a list of its grants.
Large, Global Corporations
Companies like Google, Toshiba, and Siemens offer grants for improving classroom technology.
We hope these resources will help you find the funding you need for your finance lab. When you get it all approved and you’re ready to add the finishing touches, make sure to give us a call when you want a financial ticker display installed. SunriseSESA ticker displays are made in the US, designed to fit any dimensions, come in any length, can be straight or curved, wall-mounted or suspended from the ceiling, and are designed for indoor or outdoor use. The software is easy to operate and they come with a great customer support/troubleshooting team after the sale.