American Student Assistance Announces Strategic Alliance with Network for Teaching Entrepreneurship


BOSTON – American Student Assistance ® (ASA), a national nonprofit changing the way kids learn about careers and navigate a path to postsecondary education and career success, today announced that the organization has entered into a 10-year, $25 million affiliation agreement with the Network for Teaching Entrepreneurship (NFTE), the nation’s leading entrepreneurship education organization.

Through this strategic alliance, NFTE and ASA will expand access to high-quality entrepreneurship education programs, services, and opportunities for middle and high schoolers from rural, marginalized, and economically disadvantaged communities—both in-person and digitally—through school district partnerships, curriculum development and collaborative programming, and business plan competitions. 

The agreement between ASA and NFTE consists of an immediate $5 million unrestricted grant and annual matching grants of up to $2 million for the next 10 years. ASA’s support will help NFTE move from a school-by-school approach to a more systemwide strategy to work with states and school districts to more effectively and efficiently expand the number of schools, teachers, and students that the organization works with each school year. NFTE currently serves 50,000+ students annually across 30 U.S. states. ASA’s support will allow NFTE to expand its position as one of the nation’s largest entrepreneurship education nonprofits.

“Research shows that access to high-quality entrepreneurship education leads to better career and economic outcomes. ASA is honored to enter into a new strategic alliance with NFTE, as part of our mission to engage many more young people with their future planning through impactful entrepreneurial experiences,” said ASA CEO and President Jean Eddy. “As a leader in providing unique and engaging digital-first career readiness experiences to more than 15 million kids annually, this union underscores our commitment and intentional focus on the learners in historically underrepresented communities.

Curriculum development and programming includes NFTE’s new Exploring Careers course, which provides teens with exposure to a broad exploration of career opportunities. The alliance will also further enable NFTE’s pitch competition programs, including its high-profile business plan competition series known as the Youth Entrepreneurship Challenge.

In addition, the alliance will fund professional development for teachers; research that articulates the benefits of career readiness programming through entrepreneurship education; and support statewide policies that promote students’ acquisition of credentials and certifications in entrepreneurship. 

“This partnership enshrines NFTE’s longstanding relationship with ASA, a fellow supporter of the power of entrepreneurship education, and aligns our two organizations’ missions to help young people discover who they are and what they love,” said NFTE CEO Dr. J.D. LaRock. “I look forward to continuing our mutual efforts to foster creativity, success, and self-actualization among our nation’s youth.”

NFTE established the idea of the entrepreneurial mindset as a set of skills and attitudes that can be learned, practiced, and refined through experience. It is the foundation of the nonprofit’s nearly four decades of work with youth from under-resourced communities. NFTE’s research-based, award-winning entrepreneurial programs are designed to activate and cultivate the entrepreneurial mindset, which not only enhances college and career readiness but also uniquely prepares learners for the future of work. Developing the entrepreneurial mindset lays a foundation for success throughout life, and effective entrepreneurship education can reduce educational and workplace inequities. 

As part of the strategic alliance, Jean Eddy will be joining the NFTE’s Board of Directors, and Dr. LaRock will be appointed to ASA’s Board of Directors.

About American Student Assistance® (ASA) 

American Student Assistance® (ASA) is a national nonprofit changing the way kids learn about careers and navigate a path to postsecondary education and career success. ASA believes all students should have equitable access to career readiness learning, starting in middle school, so they will be equipped to make informed, confident decisions about their futures. ASA fulfills its mission by providing free digital-first experiences, including Futurescape® and Next Voice™, and EvolveMe™, directly to millions of students, and through impact investing and philanthropic support for educators, intermediaries, and others. To learn more about ASA, visit  www.asa.org/about asa .

About The Network for Teaching Entrepreneurship (NFTE)

Network for Teaching Entrepreneurship (NFTE) ignites the entrepreneurial mindset with unique learning experiences that empower students to own their futures. A global nonprofit founded in 1987, NFTE provides high-quality entrepreneurship education to middle school, high school, and postsecondary students in 30 U.S. states and 31 countries. NFTE brings the power of entrepreneurship to students regardless of family income, community resources, special needs, gender identity, race, or ethnicity. NFTE has educated more than 1.25 million students, delivering programs in school, out of school, in person, online, and through hybrid models. Visit  nfte.com  to learn more.  

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