Please note that the details of this Challenge are no longer open. This challenge is awarded and is no longer accepting new submissions. You can:
Challenge <p> Lumina Foundation Challenge: Simplifying Access to Federal Benefits for Postsecondary Students</p>

Lumina Foundation Challenge: Simplifying Access to Federal Benefits for Postsecondary Students

STATUS: Awarded
Active Solvers: 244
Posted: Feb 25 2015
Challenge ID: 9933504
Team Project Rooms are available on this Challenge. Team Share Challenge Share

In the United States, the price of a postsecondary education continues to rise at a rate that outpaces inflation and affordability remains a significant barrier to enrollment in degree and certificate programs. Today’s students and families often are left on their own to navigate the multiple avenues to paying for postsecondary education. Lumina Foundation envisions a government-sponsored solution to simplify access to federal benefits and resources. 

This is an Ideation Challenge with a guaranteed award for at least one submitted solution.


The federal government has established a number of options and programs to help students pay for postsecondary educational expenses. Often, the process begins by filling out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), a form that calculates the Expected Family Contribution, enables institutions to determine a student’s eligibility for resources and an offer of financial aid. However, there are other sources of federal aid that cannot be accessed by completing a FAFSA. Lumina Foundation believes that in a student-centered system, benefits access  would be simplified across the various federal agencies that provide student aid, and wishes to explore the possibility of a government-sponsored solution to ensure that students can easily apply for, view, and monitor their use of all federal postsecondary education benefits for which they qualify. 

This is an Ideation Challenge, which has the following unique features:

  • There is a guaranteed award.  The awards will be paid to the best submission(s) as solely determined by the Seeker. The total payout will be $10,000, with at least one award being no smaller than $5,000 and no award being smaller than $2,000. 
  • Submission forwarding occurs during the Challenge.  Since submissions will be forwarded to the Seeker throughout the Challenge, please make sure you upload only a finished proposal. You can submit an updated version of your proposal only as a new submission. If you submit an updated version of your proposal, please clearly indicate the new items and/or edits compared to your previous submission. This will allow the Seeker to quickly find the new information and determine how it improves your submission. 
  • The Solvers are not required to transfer exclusive intellectual property rights to the Seeker.  Rather, by submitting a proposal, the Solver grants to the Seeker a royalty-free, perpetual, and non-exclusive license to use any information included in this proposal, including for promotional purposes.

Submissions to this Challenge must be received by 11:59 PM (US Eastern Time) on April 27, 2015. 

Late submissions will not be considered. 

After the Challenge deadline, the Seeker will complete the review process and make a decision with regards to the Winning Solution(s). All Solvers that submit a proposal will be notified on the status of their submissions; however, no detailed evaluation of individual submissions will be provided.



Lumina Foundation is an independent, private foundation committed to increasing the proportion of Americans with high-quality degrees, certificates and other credentials to 60 percent by 2025. Lumina’s outcomes-based approach focuses on helping to design and build an accessible, responsive and accountable higher education system while fostering a national sense of urgency for action to achieve Goal 2025. For more information on Lumina, visit:

What is InnoCentive?
InnoCentive is the global innovation marketplace where creative minds solve some of the world's most important problems for cash awards up to $1 million. Commercial, governmental and humanitarian organizations engage with InnoCentive to solve problems that can impact humankind in areas ranging from the environment to medical advancements.

What is an InnoCentive Ideation™ Challenge?

An InnoCentive Ideation™ Challenge is a broad question formulated to obtain access to new ideas, similar to a global brainstorm for producing a breakthrough idea or market survey which may include ideas for a new product line, a new commercial application for a current product, or even a viral marketing idea to recruit new customers. Ideation™ Challenge submissions are typically about two written pages, and Seekers receive a non-exclusive, perpetual license to use all submissions.

In an Ideation™ Challenge, Solvers may:

  • Submit ideas of their own
  • Submit third party information that they have the right to use and further the authority to convey that right and the right to use and develop derivative works to Seekers
  • Submit information considered in the public domain without any limitations on use

Solvers should not reveal any confidential information in their submissions. Often the Ideation™ Challenge will be followed by one or more of the other three Challenge types to further develop the ideas and gain Intellectual Property protection when the concept has been well-defined.

Share This Challenge
InnoCentive Trust Partners