EIN 53-0196573

American Council on Education (ACE)

IRS 501(c) type
Num. employees
Year formed
Most recent tax filings
NTEE code, primary
ACE is the nation’s most visible and influential higher education association. We represent the presidents of U.S. accredited, degree-granting institutions.
Total revenues
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Num. employees

Program areas at ACE

Adult learning and educational credentials: ace's learning evaluations (formerly credit) helps colleges and universities grant credit for workplace learning and training to improve access to and success in postsecondary Education. Ace validates a wide variety of Education and training programs from courses to examinations, including languages, certifications, and apprenticeship programs. Through a continued contract with the department of defense, ace reviews military training and experiences to bridge the gap between professional military Education and postsecondary Education while enhancing government and postsecondary data systems and virtual technology. Associated support services connect institutions of higher Education and employers to improve economic mobility for independent learners to obtain academic credit for formal courses, training, and experiences taken outside traditional colleges and universities. This work ensures the validity and reliability of non-traditional learning and provides opportunities for underserved student populations in college and the workforce.
Government relations and public affairs: coordinates and publicizes the efforts of the higher Education community in representing its positions and concerns to the federal government. Ace's division of government relations and public affairs (dgpa) prepares testimony for congressional hearings, comments on proposed federal legislation and regulations, advocates for higher Education public policies that will benefit students and institutions, files amicus curiae briefs on court cases with important implications for higher Education, and undertakes proactive outreach to the media, members, and other stakeholders to raise the visibility and awareness of public policy positions and the Council's mission and activities. A key benefit of ace membership is access to higher Education research and publications. Dgpa contributes to the work ace does publishing papers, monographs, and research reports on the topics of student financial aid, demographic trends in higher Education, academic preparation for college, and the college presidency, among other topics. Another means of dissemination of this information is the ace annual meeting, which is an ideal setting for networking with colleagues and addressing future challenges of higher Education, including in the public policy arena.
Professional development: the American Council on Education (ace) has a long history of providing learning and engagement opportunities for campus leaders, inclusive of programs, services, and research. Ace's programs and global engagement unit offers a suite of programs and services that enrich the capacity of institutions and individual leaders to innovate, adapt and promote high quality practice within higher Education. The unit serves individual leaders and institutions by leveraging a suite of blended solutions including ace's transformation labs, ace fellows, and ace summits. Ace's transformation labs guide higher Education institutions through a structured, campus-wide planning process to address pressing strategic goals. Current transformation labs focus on learner success, campus internationalization, and virtual exchange. Labs are funded through grants and/or participant fees and include campus engagement with ace lasting from three months to two years. Ace fellows offers an in-depth year-long immersion in higher Education leadership. A cohort of 30 to 50 leaders are selected each year to participate in the program, which includes a series of retreats focused on essential knowledge and skills, extended mentoring by executives from a host campus, completion of special projects and assignments to transform and enhance both their home and host campuses, and opportunities to connect with and learn from a wide array of campus leaders. Participation in the fellows program is supported by program fees, grants and scholarships. Ace summits convene higher Education leaders to advance strategy, campus practice, and policy on key issues. Summits take place virtually or in person, in collaboration with host campuses.ace's community strategy and engagement unit focuses on fostering partnership and engagement with key stakeholders and organizations, such as the ace women's network and the ace Council of fellows. The Council of fellows coordinates the activities, events, and fundraising efforts of the ace fellows program alumni. Since its inception in 1965, over 2,000 individuals have participated in the ace fellows program. This diverse network of alumni are an ongoing source of shared expertise and support for one another as they navigate challenges facing their institutions and proactively engage to advance higher Education's overarching mission. The ace women's network is a system of state-based networks with the goal of supporting and advancing women leaders in higher Education. Annually the state networks reach approximately 10,000 women and supports the overarching vision of diversifying the higher Education leadership pipeline. Through programs and initiatives and with the support of ace staff, the state networks engage in a shared mission of identifying, developing, encouraging, advancing, leading and supporting women in higher Education careers. Each of the aforementioned units employs ace engage, ace's digital engagement tool, to advance product dissemination and networking opportunities for higher Education leaders. Ace engage is a resource to foster virtual peer to peer networking and learning, and offers individual leaders access to a resource library, webinars and online workshops with experts.
Ace's annual meeting brings together higher Education leaders from all sectors. The annual meeting is an event to network with colleagues, hear about emerging trends from national thought leaders and learn about new approaches to campus challenges.
The ace research unit conducts research and analysis that advance the Council's thought leadership areas: (1) equity-minded leadership, (2) student success and completion, (3) globally engaged and effective institutions, and (4) institutional transformation. The unit produces major reports, topical research briefs, research-informed practice guides, blogs, and other products that provide college and university leaders, policymakers, and other stakeholders with key insights to inform policy and practice.
For the last 50 years, the carnegie classifications of institutions of higher Education have been the gold standard for organizing colleges and universities by a variety of characteristics, and they are used by researchers around the world to study the higher Education sector in america. Ace began a partnership with the carnegie foundation in february 2022 to redesign the carnegie classifications so they better reflect the diverse set of institutions and missions in higher Education today and to establish new classifications, including ones that are centered on students' social and economic mobility. In fy22, ace had the objectives to successfully transition the work and begin engagement around what changes are desired by the field. Following the announcement in february, ace began initial research, hired four staff members to work on the carnegie classifications, transitioned the websites and stewardship of the universal classifications from Indiana university - bloomington, launched the applications for the 2024 elective cycles, and began extensive outreach to gather feedback and raise awareness. This included establishing a technical review panel and institutional roundtable made up of leaders in the field. By the end of fy22, the carnegie classifications staff had met with more than 2,000 stakeholders. In fy23, ace will move forward with plans to explore expansion of the elective classifications and to design a framework for the new classification methodology. Revenue from membership dues, rent income, and investment in joint venture are also included in the revenue amount for other programs.

Grants made by ACE

GranteeGrant descriptionAmount
University of Southern California (USC)Equity Minded Leadership Study$158,288
Research Triangle Institute (RTI)Race and Ethnicity in Higher Education Report Analysis$55,000
Association of International Education Administrators (AIEA)Conference Sponsorship$7,500

Who funds American Council on Education (ACE)

Grants from foundations and other nonprofits
Andrew W. Mellon FoundationTo Continue Support for the Publication and Dissemination of Comprehensive Status Reports on the State of Race and Ethnicity in Higher Education$500,000
The Joyce FoundationEducation & Economic Mobility$137,942
Hearst FoundationOperating Support$125,000
...and 5 more grants received

Personnel at ACE

Kara FreemanSenior Vice President , Chief Operating Officer / Vice President , Administration and Chief Information Officer$361,805
Cathy JonesVice President , Chief Financial Officer$276,079
Louis SoaresChief Learning and Innovation Officer / Vice President , Strategy , Research and Advnc / Vice President , CPRS$309,824
Sonya WilliamsVice President , Chief Human Resources Officer$357,346
Peter McDonoughVice President , General Counsel$337,207
...and 10 more key personnel

Financials for ACE

RevenuesFYE 09/2022
Total grants, contributions, etc.$5,502,448
Program services$21,185,209
Investment income and dividends$1,918,696
Tax-exempt bond proceeds$0
Royalty revenue$5,471,825
Net rental income$0
Net gain from sale of non-inventory assets$311,039
Net income from fundraising events$0
Net income from gaming activities$0
Net income from sales of inventory$-7,422
Miscellaneous revenues$78,602
Total revenues$34,460,397

Form 990s for ACE

Fiscal year endingDate received by IRSFormPDF link
2021-092022-06-06990View PDF
2020-092021-04-27990View PDF
2019-092021-01-21990View PDF
2018-092019-10-21990View PDF
2017-092018-10-16990View PDF
...and 7 more Form 990s
Data update history
July 17, 2023
Posted financials
Added Form 990 for fiscal year 2021
July 5, 2023
Used new vendors
Identified 2 new vendors, including , and
May 13, 2023
Received grants
Identified 2 new grant, including a grant for $10,000 from Association of Catholic Colleges and Universities (ACCU)
May 6, 2023
Updated personnel
Identified 9 new personnel
May 6, 2023
Used new vendors
Identified 1 new vendor, including
Nonprofit Types
Trade associationsBusiness and community development organizationsSchoolsEducational service providersCharities
Science and technologyEducationCommunity improvementBusiness and industry
MembershipsPolitical advocacyLobbyingNational levelReceives government fundingProvides scholarshipsTax deductible donations
General information
1 Dupont Cir NW 800
Washington, DC 20036
Metro area
Washington-Arlington-Alexandria, DC-VA-MD-WV
Website URL
(202) 939-9300
Twitter profile
IRS details
Fiscal year end
Taxreturn type
Form 990
Year formed
Eligible to receive tax-deductible contributions (Pub 78)
NTEE code, primary
B90: Educational Services
NAICS code, primary
813910: Trade Associations
Parent/child status
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