Advancing the American Dream at the Nation's Largest Public College

A $20 million gift from Griffin Catalyst to Miami Dade College — which serves over 100,000 students — will establish the Griffin Scholarship Fund. This support, which represents the largest single gift in the history of Miami Dade College, will provide scholarships for more than 8,000 low-income students, most of them first-generation college-goers.
At Miami Dade College’s commencement day on April 22, 2023, Ken Griffin greets graduating students before announcing the new Griffin Scholarship Fund to provide scholarships beginning in Fall 2023.

In his Miami Dade College commencement address in April 2023, Ken Griffin, exhorting students that “more than ever, America needs leadership…in our businesses, our government, [and] our civic society,” announced the establishment of the Griffin Scholarship Fund, which will help unlock opportunities for thousands of hardworking students.


Located in the heart of one of America’s most vibrant metropolitan areas, Miami Dade College (MDC) is the largest and most diverse institution of higher education in the United States, serving well over 100,000 students.

Griffin Catalyst’s commitment of $20 million represents the largest gift in the college’s history. It funds a suite of four core scholarship programs that support local, low-income students, with more than 90% of scholarship recipients coming from Miami-Dade County public schools.

Those four programs are designed to assist a wide range of students. Each year, 750 Honors Scholars, drawn from first-generation and immigrant families, are prepared to attend some of America’s most selective universities; 600 Presidential Scholars are accepted from Miami-Dade County high schools based on their academic achievement and receive full tuition, fees, and expenses; The Rising Scholars supports 400 students to graduate from high school and pursue a degree at MDC; and aid to 6,000 American Dream Scholars bridges the gaps between other scholarships, enabling them to pursue their first college degree.


Widely known as “Democracy’s College,” Miami Dade College is largely recognized as one of the largest and most successful accelerants of upward mobility in America.

91% of MDC students are Black or Hispanic, 48% are first-generation immigrants, and 70% work while going to college to support themselves or their families.

Reinforcing its larger mission of making the American Dream more accessible, Griffin Catalyst’s support for the college will remove barriers for many thousands of determined, hard-working young people, enabling them to achieve academic and professional advancement for themselves and their families.


The Griffin Scholarship Fund will offer unprecedented opportunity for a college education to Miami-Dade County’s students, regardless of their background or resources. Every graduate of the Miami-Dade public schools will be eligible to apply for the scholarship program.

The gift will support over 8,000 Miami Dade College students in the first two years.

Ken Griffin greets Miami Dade College’s leadership at its commencement ceremony on April 22, 2023, where Griffin counseled graduates to “not be afraid to take calculated risks, to raise your hand, and to make decisions that will move you closer to your dreams.

In Brief

October 30, 2023
Griffin Catalyst is funding the construction and programming of 50 soccer mini-pitches in underserved communities across Florida’s Miami-Dade County. The $5 million initiative, carried out with The Children’s Trust, the U.S. Soccer Foundation, and Miami-Dade County, will increase access to the game for young people county-wide, impacting over 30,000 local children over the next seven years, and help build community in dozens of neighborhoods.
June 30, 2020
Griffin Catalyst has made the largest gift in the history of the Navy SEAL Foundation, to provide critical education, health care, and financial support to members of one of the U.S. military’s most elite special operations forces and their families.
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Griffin Catalyst is supporting a major enhancement of UK Biobank, one of the world’s leading scientific resources for health data and biological samples. Griffin Catalyst’s $10 million gift—matched by Eric Schmidt and Schmidt Futures—will enable UK Biobank and scientists from around the world to accelerate research into disease mechanisms, to better leverage artificial intelligence, and to work towards more personalized options for treatment.