LCU Fund for Women's EducationLCU Fund for Women's Education

Opening Doors Since 1858

Our Mission

To award grants that ease the burden of New York City housing costs for promising women students preparing for careers that serve the community, so that they may obtain their college degree.

Specifically, the LCU Fund for Women’s Education:

Women, Higher Education and Housing Affordability

Why women students?

Research shows that women with at least a bachelor’s degree reap benefits throughout their working lives.  They are more likely to be employed — 80% of women aged 25-34 with a bachelor's degree are employed, compared with 59% in the same age group who have only a high school diploma — and more likely to escape the cycle of poverty (only 9.3 percent of people living below the federal poverty level have a college degree). But there are considerable barriers to earning that college degree. From the outset, female students from low- and middle-income households face an uphill struggle: They are less likely to have family assistance with tuition costs, and more likely to have other commitments, such as a part-time job or family caretaking role, in addition to classes.

Why housing?

Tuition is not the only cost associated with attending college — even if tuition is fully or partially covered by grants or scholarships, the student is still responsible for her own room and board.  In New York City, this is a particularly burdensome cost. Rents here are high — some 65% of NYC renters pay more than $1,000 per month, and 53.4% of renters pay 30% or more of their household income in rent. The number of affordable apartments in the city is shrinking, as rent increases over the past decade have surpassed income growth. When the cost of New York City housing is factored in, some lower-income students — or even middle-income students — are forced to give up their hopes of higher education altogether.

The LCU Fund for Women’s Education, today a private grant-making foundation, recognizes and addresses the alarming imbalance between the extraordinary educational opportunities available in New York and the lack of affordable housing.

To contribute, or to find out more information, please visit the donate page.