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Dreamkeepers gives ‘back to school’ new meaning for community and open-enrollment college students facing financial setbacks
Scholarship America announced today that after a nationwide selection process the following community and open-enrollment colleges were chosen to offer the Dreamkeepers program in Fall 2010:
- Pasadena City College, Los Angeles
- Grossmont College, El Cajon, Calif.
- College of Central Florida, Ocala, Fla.
- Bunker Hill Community College, Boston
- Macomb Community College, Warren, Mich.
- Henry Ford Community College, Dearborn, Mich.
- Wayne County Community College District, Detroit
- Minneapolis Community and Technical College, Minneapolis
- Inver Hills Community College, Inver Grove Heights, Minn.
- City College of New York
- Clark State Community College, Springfield, Ohio
- Delaware County Community College, Media, Pa.
- Seattle Central Community College, Seattle
Selected schools enroll large numbers of historically underserved, low-income and/or first-generation college students. Dreamkeepers focuses on these students because unexpected financial setbacks are one of the top reasons they drop out of school.
Community and open-enrollment colleges historically average a 55 percent re-enrollment/graduation rate. Eighty four percent of students who received Dreamkeepers assistance in 2008 either re-enrolled in school the following semester or graduated. In response to these results, the Kresge Foundation and the Walmart Foundation joined Lumina Foundation for Education and provided additional funds to expand the Dreamkeepers program into 13 additional schools.
“Community and open-enrollment colleges have become the gateway to postsecondary education for an increasing number of students, many of whom are also working and have families,” said Donald Lassere, Senior Vice President, Scholarship America. “These students know an education will improve their future, but are forced to make difficult choices if they face a short-term financial emergency. Thanks to the support of Kresge, Lumina and Walmart foundations, we’ll be able to help even more of these students stay in school.”
“We’re proud to support a program that’s helping keep students in school and working toward their educational goals,” said Margaret McKenna, president of the Walmart Foundation. “The unique grant partnership between Kresge, Lumina and Walmart is a model for ways that foundations can work together to streamline the grant process and provide broader support. We’re proud to be part of this collaborative solution."
Scholarship America will provide onsite support and training to help each of the new colleges establish the program and raise funds to ensure its long-term success. Scholarship America will also provide an online application tool and online financial literacy tool.
“Completing an education program beyond high school is essential, especially in today’s economy. Education helps people achieve their full potential, lead more productive lives and improve the quality of life for generations,” said Caroline Altman Smith, Program Officer, the Kresge Foundation. “That’s why the Kresge Foundation funds higher education access and success programs and is proud to support Dreamkeepers, which is proven to improve graduation rates.”
Since 2004, Scholarship America has distributed nearly $1.1 million in student grants through the Dreamkeepers program. To date, the average student grant of $523 has been used for purposes like housing, utilities, meals, childcare, transportation or car repairs. Now in 31 schools across the country, Scholarship America plans to continue raising funds so additional community and open-enrollment colleges can offer the Dreamkeepers program as part of their overall efforts to improve graduation rates.
Kellie Due Weiland, Beehive PR
(651) 789-2239; firstname.lastname@example.org
Janine Fugate, Scholarship America
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About Scholarship America
Scholarship America is a national education service organization that mobilizes support for students getting into and graduating from college. We have three core programs that help us achieve our mission: Dollars for Scholars, Scholarship Management Services, and Dreamkeepers. Scholarship America has distributed more than $2.5 billion in scholarship assistance to more than 1.7 million students since 1958.
About The Kresge Foundation
The Kresge Foundation seeks to influence the quality of life for future generations by creating access and opportunity in underserved communities, improving the health of low-income people, supporting artistic expression, assisting in the revitalization of Detroit, and advancing methods for dealing with global climate change. The foundation works in six program areas: health, the environment, arts and culture, education, human services and community development.
About Lumina Foundation for Education
Lumina Foundation for Education is committed to enrolling and graduating more students from college—especially low-income students, students of color, first-generation students and adult learners. Our goal is to increase the percentage of Americans who hold high-quality degrees and credentials to 60 percent by 2025. Lumina pursues this goal in three ways: by identifying and supporting effective practice, through public policy advocacy, and by using our communications and convening power to build public will for change. To learn more, visit www.luminafoundation.org.
About Philanthropy at Walmart
Walmart and the Walmart Foundation are proud to support the charitable causes that are important to customers and associates in their own neighborhoods. The Walmart Foundation funds initiatives focused on education, workforce development, economic opportunity, environmental sustainability, and health and wellness. From Feb. 1, 2009 through Jan. 31, 2010, Walmart and the Walmart Foundation gave more than $512 million in cash and in-kind gifts globally, $467 million of which was donated in the U.S. To learn more, visit www.walmartfoundation.org.
The Dream Award
Scholarship America’s Dream Award is a renewable scholarship fund targeted toward completion. These annually-increasing awards will be given to students selected from across the nation who are entering their second year of education beyond high school.
The Scholarship Coach
Scholarship America's blog, The Scholarship Coach, appears weekly at USNews.com, featuring expert advice on all kinds of scholarship issues. Here on the site, we feature a new highlight from the blog every week, and you can also download a free Scholarship Coach e-book!
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