Program Officer Removing Structural Barriers to Academic Success (AEG)


Ascendium Education Group (Ascendium) has helped millions of learners pursue postsecondary education since 1967, when it was formed to help fulfill the promise of the landmark Higher Education Act of 1965. Over the years, Ascendium has grown to become the nation’s largest federal student loan guarantor, providing information, tools and counseling to help millions of borrowers nationwide avoid default and keep the door to re-enrollment open. We guarantee federal student loans, conceive and develop innovative products and services that support student success and loan repayment, and invest in studying and improving higher education practices through our philanthropy. We focus on breaking down barriers that prevent people, especially those from historically underrepresented populations, from achieving their dreams.

As a 501(c)(3) nonprofit, net proceeds from Ascendium’s guaranty and other operations are used to fund Ascendium’s philanthropy. The philanthropy team is comprised of program, grants management and communications staff who all have a shared commitment to advancing our mission. As a national funder, our mission is to elevate opportunities and outcomes for learners from low-income backgrounds so they can better achieve postsecondary educational and career success. Our grantmaking focuses on transforming systems of higher education so they can support low-income populations, especially those in historically underrepresented groups who often experience inequities in accessing or achieving success within our current higher education system: first-generation students, incarcerated adults, rural community members, students of color, and veterans. Our funding supports innovative ideas, the creation of an evidence base, and the expansion and replication of effective practices to spark sustainable, system improvement.


We’re looking for two grantmakers to advance the following focus areas:

  • Removing Structural Barriers to Academic Success
  • Expanding High-Quality Postsecondary Education in Prison

Program Officers serve as an integral member of the Education Grantmaking Department and within one of Ascendium’s four grantmaking focus area teams. Reporting to the Deputy Director of Education Grantmaking, the Program Officers will work in partnership with a Senior Program Officer to advance the focus area strategy.


These are some of the qualifications we’re looking for:

  • 3-years of previous grantmaking experience;
  • Excellent oral and written communication skills;
  • Willingness to learn, evolve and adapt to a fast-paced, continually evolving field and work environment; and
  • Past experience and knowledge of postsecondary education preferred.

To Apply 

If you're interested in this job opening, please visit our careers website at Select the option to apply online, create your profile and fill out the application for the job opening you are interested in. A fully completed application must be submitted to be considered for this position. 

Ascendium Education Group, Inc. (Ascendium) provides equal employment opportunity to all individuals regardless of their race, color, religion, sex, age, national origin, creed, disability, veteran status or any other characteristic protected by state or federal law. We are strongly committed to this policy and believe in the concept and spirit of the law.

If you would like assistance with the application process, please contact us at [email protected]. We invite all applicants to complete the Voluntary Affirmative Action questions when submitting application materials. The questions are found at the end of the online application process. To learn more about our commitment to Equal Employment Opportunity, please visit

Ascendium employees enjoy an outstanding benefit package designed to provide employees and their families with a high degree of security.

Ascendium has contractual obligations that require criminal, employment and education background investigations as a condition of employment.

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