Non-profit

American Council on Education

Website:

www.acenet.edu/

Location:

WASHINGTON, DC

Tax ID:

53-0196573

Tax-Exempt Status:

501(c)(3)

Budget (2017):

Revenue: $32,371,524
Expenses: $34,166,504
Assets: $93,741,155

Formation:

1918

President:

Ted Wheeler

The American Council on Education (ACE) is the coordinating body for primary and secondary education institutions and associations. ACE represents institutions teaching two-thirds of the students in all accredited schools in the United States and was founded at the end of World War I to aid in increasing enrollment in the post-war era. [1] ACE advocates for left-of-center policy on behalf of its members, pushing to increase enrollment, supporting affirmative action in the admissions process, and  providing training and tools to help members improve student service capabilities. [2]

In 2020, ACE filed an amicus brief in favor Harvard College in Students For Fair Admissions, Inc. v. President And Fellows of Harvard College (Harvard Corporation), a lawsuit that challenged Harvard’s affirmative action program on the grounds that it discriminates against students of Asian descent. [3]

ACE has also engaged in political lobbying. In 2020, ACE sent letters to Congress in support of increased COVID-19 funding for its member institutions and filed an amicus brief against the Trump administration’s limits on H-1(b) visas that would reduce the ability of international students to stay in the United States if not on campus. [4]

ACE partnered with Pearson to create and operate the GED Testing Service, which provides testing equivalent to a high school diploma for individuals who did not graduate high school. ACE is also invested in ACUE, a professional development organization for educations, and collaborates with Noodle Partners to develop digital learning tools. [5] [6] [7]

Organization

The American Council on Education is a national association of two- and four-year public and private colleges, universities, education associations, secondary schools, trade associations, and corporations. ACE claims to have 1,684 members that coordinate advocacy, research, testing programs, and leadership trainings. [8]

ACE supports programs to build confidence in post-secondary education, support affirmative action, improve graduation rates, and build increased educational capabilities for its members. [9]

ACE advocates for increased federal-funded financial aid for students and institutions, expanded diversity programs, increased accreditation services, improved research capabilities for universities, and decreased government regulation for universities. [10]

ACE is operated from a building supported by the left-of-center Kellogg Foundation that is also home to forty other educational associations. [11]

History

The Emergency Council on Education was formed by fourteen educational associations in the face of falling post-secondary education enrollment during World War I. Soon renamed the American Council on Education (ACE), the organization began publishing the Educational Record to promote higher education and reverse enrollment trends. [12]

To build a larger post-secondary education market, ACE established the Committee on the Training of Women for Professional Service, issued a series of reports on the impact of racism on African-American children entitled Growing Up in the Black Belt: Negro Youth in the Rural South, and established the GED Testing Service to test non-high school graduates for a high school diploma in order to qualify them for post-secondary educations. ACE also created the Military Evaluations Program to provides college credit for military training. [13]

Later, ACE formed the Office of Minorities in Higher Education (OMHE) along with the Commission on Minority Participation in Education and American Life (MPEAL) to increase ethnic minority enrollment rates. ACE also developed the National Center for Academic Achievement and Transfer (NCAAT), designed to improve community college curriculum to increase transfer opportunities to four-year institutions. [14]

ACE increased its lobbying efforts in 1965 to opposed provisions of the Higher Education Act of 1965 which claimed that aid should go directly to colleges and universities and not directly to students. [15]

Lobbying

In the 2010s and early 2020s, ACE has filed amicus briefs to block changes in the H-1(b) visa program, to support affirmative action, to support race-based admissions policies, and to oppose the Trump administration’s executive order to end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. [16] [17] [18]

ACE has also lobbied Congress for a number of left-of-center policies, including the awarding of $120 billion in funding to higher education institutions during the COVID-19 pandemic, increased federally funded student loans, and increased funding for research at higher education institutions. ACE also opposed the revision of regulations for dealing with sexual harassment under Title IX. [19] [20] [21] [22]

Member Services

ACE offers a variety of services for its membership, including a fellowship program which trains administrators in education leadership, forums and summits at which members can share their experiences, and various labs to help members with expansion strategies. [23]

ACE founded the American Council on Education Women’s Network (ACEWN) with a grant from the Carnegie Corporation to aid in leadership development for women in education through  state-based networks. [24]

With support from the Lumina Foundation, ACE founded the Global Attainment and Inclusion Network (GAIN) to explore ways to increase post-secondary degree attainment. [25]

ACE supports left-of-center policies on race in higher education. ACE, in conjunction with the Research Triangle Institute International, has released Race and Ethnicity in Higher Education: A Status Report and a website to be used by its members in drawing insights on the continued focus on race in colleges and universities. It has also released a publication entitled Leading After a Racial Crisis: Weaving a Campus Tapestry of Diversity and Inclusion, which focuses on racial tensions in the United States. ACR has also published  Minority Serving Institutions (MSI) as Engines of Upward Mobility, which claims that so-called minority serving institutions provide upward mobility to ethnic minorities; A Look at Five Key Outcomes in Early Adulthood for Associate Degree Earners; and a report titled International Students in Community Colleges: An Unplanned Diversity, which argues for the value of foreign-born students in expanding diversity at community colleges. [26] [27] [28] [29] [30]

ACE’s partnership with the Association of College and University Educators (ACUE), provides professional development and support for instructors. ACE also collaborates with Noodle Partners to run ACE ENGAGE, a digital learning platform. [31] [32]

Leadership

ACE governs itself through a board of leaders from member schools and associations.

Ted Mitchell sits as president of ACE and has served as Under-Secretary of Education in the Obama administration. Mitchell has previously worked as chief executive officer of NewSchools Venture Fund, and as dean of the Graduate School of Education and Information Studies at the University of California, Los Angeles. [33]

Paul J. LeBlanc sits as board chair and is president of Southern New Hampshire University. [34]

Finances

ACE reported $35,846,029 in revenue in 2017. This includes $13,988,130 in contributions and grants, $7,729,943 in membership dues, $9,597,862 in program service revenue, $3,186,583 in government grants, and $3,071,604 in private contributions. [35]

ACE also collected $4,132,044 in investment income, $5,667,731 in rental income, and $5,653,082 in testing and registration fees. ACE also faced a loss of $1,428,877 from its investment in GED Testing Service LLC. [36]

Expenses totaled $35,267,317 with $21,270,525 going towards salaries and benefits, $6,434,962 of which went to officers, directors, trustees, and key employees. [37]

ACE spent $13,913,331 on other expenses, including $1,143,695 to independent contractors, $1,180,213 for travel, and $1,545,279 on conferences, conventions and meetings. [38]

Lobbying expenditures totaled $435,054 for 2017, while ACE’s 4-year average lobbying spending was slightly under $250,000. [39]

ACE’s investment in GED Testing Services, of which it owns 30%, has a book value of $9,182,703. [40]

ACE also holds an interest in ACUE which is valued at $3,000,000. [41]

Between 2019 and 2020, the American Council for Capital Formation received $50,000 in grant money from the left-leaning LLC Arnold Ventures in order “to support and promote climate and clean energy innovation at the federal level.” [42]

References

  1. “About ACE.” About. Accessed December 10, 2020. https://www.acenet.edu/About/Pages/default.aspx. ^
  2. “About ACE.” About. Accessed December 10, 2020. https://www.acenet.edu/About/Pages/default.aspx. ^
  3. “Students For Fair Admissions, Inc.” American Council on Education. Accessed December 10, 2020. https://www.acenet.edu/Documents/Amicus-Brief-Harvard-v-Students-Fair-Admissions.pdf. ^
  4. “ACE, Higher Ed Groups Submit Amicus Briefs Opposing New H-1B Visa Rules.” News Room, November 2, 2020. https://www.acenet.edu/News-Room/Pages/ACE-Higher-Ed-Groups-Submit-Amicus-Briefs-Opposing-New-H-1B-Visa-Rules.aspx. ^
  5. “GED Testing Service®.” ACE National Guide. Accessed December 10, 2020. https://www.acenet.edu/National-Guide/Pages/Organization.aspx?oid=20099b28-9016-e811-810f-5065f38bf0e1. ^
  6. “ACUE.” American Council on Education. Accessed December 10, 2020. https://www.acenet.edu/Documents/ACE-ACUE-FAQ-March-2016.pdf ^
  7. “ACE Engage.” American Council on Education. Accessed December 10, 2020. https://www.acenet.edu/Pages/Engage/home.aspx. ^
  8. “About ACE.” About. Accessed December 9, 2020. https://www.acenet.edu/About/Pages/default.aspx. ^
  9. “ACE Strategic Framework.” About. Accessed December 9, 2020. https://www.acenet.edu/About/Pages/strategic-framework.aspx. ^
  10. “Our History.” About. Accessed December 9, 2020. https://www.acenet.edu/About/Pages/history.aspx. ^
  11. “Our History.” About. Accessed December 9, 2020. https://www.acenet.edu/About/Pages/history.aspx. ^
  12. “Our History.” About. Accessed December 9, 2020. https://www.acenet.edu/About/Pages/history.aspx. ^
  13. “Our History.” About. Accessed December 9, 2020. https://www.acenet.edu/About/Pages/history.aspx. ^
  14. “Our History.” About. Accessed December 9, 2020. https://www.acenet.edu/About/Pages/history.aspx. ^
  15. “Our History.” About. Accessed December 9, 2020. https://www.acenet.edu/About/Pages/history.aspx. ^
  16. Mitchell, Ted. “Letter Opposing Ending DACA.” American Council on Education. Accessed December 9, 2020. https://www.acenet.edu/Documents/Letter-to-President-Trump-on-DACA-August-2017.pdf. ^
  17. “Students for Fair Admissions, Inc. v. Harvard University.” News Room. Accessed December 9, 2020. https://www.acenet.edu/News-Room/Pages/Students-for-Fair-Admissions-Inc-v-Harvard-Diversity-in-Admissions-Case.aspx. ^
  18. “ACE, Higher Ed Groups Submit Amicus Briefs Opposing New H-1B Visa Rules.” News Room, November 2, 2020. https://www.acenet.edu/News-Room/Pages/ACE-Higher-Ed-Groups-Submit-Amicus-Briefs-Opposing-New-H-1B-Visa-Rules.aspx. ^
  19. Mitchell, Ted. “Letter to Congress Re: Increased Funding for Sars-CoV-2.” American Council on Education, n.d. https://www.acenet.edu/Documents/Letter-Congressional-Leaders-COVID-Relief-120220.pdf. ^
  20. Mitchell, Ted. “Increased Research Funding.” American Council on Education, n.d. https://www.acenet.edu/Documents/Letter-AAU-APLU-AAMC-ACE-COVID-research-relief-092520.pdf. ^
  21. Mitchell, Ted. “Increase Higher Education Spending.” American Council on Education. Accessed December 9, 2020. https://www.acenet.edu/Documents/Letter-Senate-fifth-supplemental-request-052920.pdf. ^
  22. Mitchell, Ted. “Comments on Proposed Title IX Rule.” American Council on Education. Accessed December 9, 2020. https://www.acenet.edu/Documents/Comments-to-Education-Department-on-Proposed-Rule-Amending-Title-IX-Regulations.pdf. ^
  23. “About ACE.” About. Accessed December 9, 2020. https://www.acenet.edu/About/Pages/default.aspx. ^
  24. “ACE Women’s Network.” Programs & Services. Accessed December 9, 2020. https://www.acenet.edu/Programs-Services/Pages/Communities/ACE-Womens-Network.aspx. ^
  25. “Global Attainment & Inclusion Network.” American Council on Education, 2019. https://www.acenet.edu/Documents/GAIN-overview.pdf. ^
  26. “Race and Ethnicity in Higher Education.” Research & Insights, November 30, 2020. https://www.acenet.edu/Research-Insights/Pages/Race-and-Ethnicity-in-Higher-Education.aspx. ^
  27. Espinosa, Lorelle L, Robert Kelchen, and Morgan Taylor. “Minority Serving Institutions as Engines of Upward Mobility.” American Council on Education. Accessed December 9, 2020. https://www.acenet.edu/Documents/MSIs-as-Engines-of-Upward-Mobility.pdf. ^
  28. Fries-Britt, Sharon, and Adrianna Kezar. “Leading After a Racial Crisis.” American Council on Education . Accessed December 9, 2020. https://www.acenet.edu/Documents/Leading-After-a-Racial-Crisis.pdf. ^
  29. Turk, Jonathan M. “A Look at Five Key Outcomes in Early Adulthood for Associate Degree Earners.” American Council on Education, August 2019. https://www.acenet.edu/Documents/A-Look-at-Five-Key-Outcomes-in-Early-Adulthood-for-Associate-Degree-Earners.pdf. ^
  30. Hagedorn, Linda Serra. “International Students in Community Colleges.” American Council on Education, 2020. https://www.acenet.edu/Documents/International-Students-in-Community-Colleges.pdf. ^
  31. “ACE-ACUE College Instruction Collaboration.” Research & Insights, September 1, 2020. https://www.acenet.edu/Research-Insights/Pages/student-support/ACE-ACUE-College-Instruction-Collaboration.aspx. ^
  32. “ACE Engage.” American Council on Education. Accessed December 9, 2020. https://www.acenet.edu/Pages/Engage/home.aspx. ^
  33. “Meet the President.” About, November 16, 2020. https://www.acenet.edu/About/Pages/meet-the-president.aspx. ^
  34. “ACE Board of Directors.” About. Accessed December 10, 2020. https://www.acenet.edu/About/Pages/board-of-directors.aspx. ^
  35. “American Council on Education”. Return of Organization Exempt From Income Tax. Form 990. 2017. Part I, Lines 12, 8, 9. Part VIII, Lines 1b, 1e, 1f. ^
  36. “American Council on Education”. Return of Organization Exempt From Income Tax. Form 990. 2017. Part I, Line 10. Part VII, Lines 2a, 2b, 2c, 2d. ^
  37. “American Council on Education”. Return of Organization Exempt From Income Tax. Form 990. 2017. Part I, Lines 18, 14. Part IX, Line 5. ^
  38. “American Council on Education”. Return of Organization Exempt From Income Tax. Form 990. 2017. Part VII, Section B, Line 1. Part I, Line 17. Part IX, Lines 17, 19. ^
  39. “American Council on Education”. Return of Organization Exempt From Income Tax. Form 990. 2017. Part II-A Lines 1c, 2a ^
  40. “American Council on Education”. Return of Organization Exempt From Income Tax. Form 990. 2017. Part VIII Lines 1,2. ^
  41. “American Council on Education”. Return of Organization Exempt From Income Tax. Form 990. 2017. Part VI, Line 1. ^
  42. “American Council for Capital Formation.” Arnold Foundation. Accessed February 15, 2021. https://www.arnoldventures.org/grants/american-council-for-capital-formation. ^
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Nonprofit Information

  • Accounting Period: September - August
  • Tax Exemption Received: July 1, 1936

  • Available Filings

    Period Form Type Total revenue Total functional expenses Total assets (EOY) Total liabilities (EOY) Unrelated business income? Total contributions Program service revenue Investment income Comp. of current officers, directors, etc. Form 990
    2017 Sep Form 990 $32,371,524 $34,166,504 $93,741,155 $24,254,830 Y $12,762,331 $9,597,862 $1,582,426 $6,432,564 PDF
    2016 Sep Form 990 $36,435,437 $35,242,333 $89,246,756 $21,968,464 Y $17,870,559 $16,075,001 $2,050,156 $5,851,964
    2015 Sep Form 990 $47,061,650 $50,221,229 $88,322,574 $23,783,339 Y $29,343,065 $14,745,331 $2,143,427 $6,869,480 PDF
    2014 Sep Form 990 $46,894,884 $51,419,861 $97,694,991 $27,459,923 Y $30,491,199 $14,235,276 $1,521,772 $5,315,455 PDF
    2013 Sep Form 990 $53,027,068 $51,995,482 $98,354,362 $26,829,809 Y $33,311,694 $16,916,532 $1,046,478 $3,821,408 PDF
    2012 Sep Form 990 $52,733,849 $50,933,153 $94,124,711 $28,174,748 Y $34,023,249 $17,200,857 $685,737 $4,276,955 PDF
    2011 Sep Form 990 $60,253,686 $50,327,607 $86,155,904 $27,929,930 Y $32,336,742 $25,838,968 $820,998 $3,051,197 PDF

    Additional Filings (PDFs)

    American Council on Education

    1 DUPONT CIRCLE NW
    WASHINGTON, DC 20036-1110