Request for Proposals:

Aim High: Supporting Out-of-School Time 

Programs Serving Middle School Youth 

RFP Due: Tuesday, February 1st, 2022 at 5:00 p.m. ET

Link to the Full RFP


On behalf of the New York Life Foundation, the Afterschool Alliance invites out-of-school time programs to apply for a competitive grant opportunity to support and bolster the ability of afterschool and summer learning programs to help prepare middle school students for success in high school, college, and life.

Why Middle School? 

A large body of evidence indicates the critical role of middle school in determining a young person’s long-term academic trajectory. Enriching out-of-school time (OST) programs—such as afterschool and summer learning programs—are an effective means of helping middle school students successfully transition from 8th to 9th grade. In addition, these programs provide benefits to students that extend beyond academics, helping develop the whole young person—cognitively, socially, and emotionally. The New York Life Foundation’s educational enhancement grantmaking strategy aims to provide opportunities that help students in middle school thrive and become better prepared to complete high school and go on to college, providing them a brighter future.

Why was the Aim High Program created?

The New York Life Foundation created the Aim High grant program to support the ability of local community-based afterschool and summer learning programs to provide the foundational skills and guidance that middle school students need to be prepared for the critical transition into high school.

The Aim High Grant Program

This competitive grant program includes both one- and two-year grant opportunities. Applicants can only apply for one of these grants. One-year grants will begin in June 2022 and end in May 2023. Two-year grants will begin in June 2022 and end in May 2024.

One-Year Grants:

This year, the 1-year grant opportunity focuses on supporting programs’ racial equity and social justice efforts, as the New York Life Foundation recognizes that we are living in a pivotal time when it is imperative to build on their ongoing commitment to support an equal and just society. 

Two-Year Grants:

The two-year grant opportunity focuses on supporting programs in enhancing direct service activities, technical assistance, capacity building, and their efforts in continuing to serve youth while facing the challenges of the pandemic and beyond.

Application deadline: 5 p.m. EST, Tuesday, February 1st, 2022  

Before beginning your application, we encourage you to review the entire Aim High Request for Proposals here and Check out our FAQ!

New Registrants: If you have not already done so, you should begin by clicking on the "Register" button in the upper right hand corner of your screen. After successfully registering, you will be required to fill out a brief set of eligibility questions which will determine the grant tiers for which you are eligible. After finishing the registration process, you will be able to select and begin the application process for any of the grants for which you are eligible.

Returning Users: If you have not already filled out the eligibility checklist for this year's grant programs, click "Log In" in the upper right hand corner of the screen. Once you have logged in, you will be prompted with an eligibility quiz to fill out to determine for which programs you are eligible. Once you complete this checklist, it will allow you to select and begin the application process for any of the grants for which you are eligible.

Eligibility requirements:

  • 501(c)(3) status. Applicants for this competitive grant program must have 501(c)(3) status. You will be required to verify your EIN as a part of the application.
  • Middle school youth (6th, 7th, 8th graders) served. This competitive grant program is targeted to programs serving middle school students in grades 6, 7 and 8.Organizations applying for funding may serve students outside of this grade range but grant funds are specifically for middle school youth. 
  • High percentage of low-income youth served. Applicants for this competitive grant program must serve a high percentage—at least 75 percent—of low-income youth. For the purposes of this grant program, “low-income” is defined as students who qualify for the Federal Free or Reduced Price Lunch Program (FRPL).


Applicants that currently receive funding, either directly or indirectly, from the New York Life Foundation are ineligible to apply. This includes:

  • National or regional organizations that receive New York Life Foundation funding directly.
  • Local affiliate organizations or programs that receive any financial support from their national headquarters that originates from New York Life Foundation grants.
  • Recipients of earlier rounds of Aim High grant funds.

Application deadline: 5:00 PM EST, Tuesday, February 1st, 2022

Grant awards will be announced by the end of May 2022.

Questions? Check out our FAQ!

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