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Scholarship America President & CEO Lauren Segal had the opportunity this week to serve as host and moderator of a roundtable discussion with U.S. Department of Labor SecretaryThomas Perez.
Held at Minneapolis Community and Technical College (MCTC), the event featured numerous Twin Cities leaders in business, education and technical careers, and focused on the nationwide push for tuition relief programs for community colleges.
From the press release:
"Secretary Perez was joined by Congressman Keith Ellison, Minneapolis Mayor Betsy Hodges, former mayor R.T. Rybak, Sen. Terri Bonoff, Rep. Frank Hornstein and other business and community leaders for an hour-long roundtable held at MCTC. Speakers discussed the need for community and technical college tuition relief in line with President Barack Obama’s proposed America’s College Promise. 'The President’s "America’s College Promise" is about making higher education accessible to everyone,' said Secretary Perez. 'Our discussion today is about a movement. We want to create a movement to make sure this is a nation in which everybody gets the education they need for their job, whether it’s a job as a CNC machinist at Graco or a job in IT.'"
The Hechinger Report and PBS NewsHour recently looked into a number of reasons why "poor families that need private scholarships the most are less likely to get them than higher-income ones." Among the experts interviewed for the article was Scholarship America's Max Espinoza, who spoke about the knowledge gap that many low-income and first-generation students face: too often, the students who need scholarships just don't know where to start finding them. The full article is an eye-opening look at the importance of scholarships—and how we can expand their impact.
Max Espinoza, Scholarship America's Vice President, Education Programs and Policy, appears with Edvisors' Mark Kantrowitz and others in the news spot above from CBS Miami. The video features an overview of the 2014-15 academic year's major financial aid trends -- especially the growing role of private, merit-based scholarships. (You can watch the full video and read the transcript at miami.cbslocal.com.)
Max Espinoza, Scholarship America's Vice President, Education Programs and Policy, spoke with Media Planet this week about online education and new paths to earning degrees. The article touches on definitions, distinctions among programs and more; you can read the piece at Media Planet.
Within a week of the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks on New York and Washington, education-focused nonprofits began raising money for the families who were affected. Those efforts resulted in the establishment of the Families of Freedom Scholarship Fund -- a fund administered by Scholarship America, and established to ensure college access for financially needy dependents of those killed or disabled on 9/11 and in subsequent rescue efforts.
This fall, the Families of Freedom Scholarship Fund reached a remarkable milestone: it has now awarded $104 million to those dependents, helping close to 2,600 husbands, wives, sons and daughters achieve their college dreams in the wake of the tragedy. In observation of the anniversary of 9/11, the New York Times highlighted the work of the Fund in a feature article. Among the featured scholarship recipients was Sean Booker, Jr., who had just started kindergarten when his father, a Xerox technician working on the 93rd floor of the World Trade Center’s north tower, passed away in the attacks.
“Childhood memories are hazy, the younger Mr. Booker said, but a few details stand out. ‘I used to play drums at my church where my dad was a pastor,’ he said. ‘He took me to the park and I used to have breakfast with him.’
“Of the 3,051 children who lost a parent in the Sept. 11 attacks, about 300 were kindergartners that day. Many of them are now taking their first classes in college, and about 100 of them, including Mr. Booker, will begin their higher education with full scholarships from the Families of Freedom Scholarship Fund … Mr. Booker, now 18, attends Pace University in Lower Manhattan, within view of 1 World Trade Center.
“On move-in day, he said, ‘my whole family came with me.’”
A recent, in-depth Wall Street Journal piece, entitled "How To Win the College Scholarship Game," discussed a number of topics around merit- and need-based financial aid, as well as institutional and private scholarships. Staff from Scholarship America provided statistics, examples and expertise, and our own Max Espinoza was quoted several times. From the article:
"But outside organizations have ramped up merit aid faster, awarding $6.2 billion in such scholarship assistance in 2011-12, up 130% from four years prior, according to Edvisors.com. (That total doesn't include money provided by employers to workers and their children, which hasn't risen as sharply and can be based to some degree on financial need.)
"'Private scholarship aid is going up, and it highlights the importance of the private sector in filling gaps that have been created in the overall college-financing universe,' says Max Espinoza, a senior vice president at Scholarship America, a Minneapolis-based nonprofit that helps corporations, foundations and other groups manage scholarship programs."
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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.
In 2014, more than 125,000 students received over $236 million in scholarship support and assistance from Scholarship America – a record-breaking year for the nation's largest provider of private scholarships.
Visit our 2014 annual report to learn more about our successes, our students and our future.
Scholarship America's blog, Success By Degrees, covers items of interest to parents, volunteers, educators and anyone interested in the big issues surrounding education, financial aid and postsecondary success. You'll find policy announcements, news releases and more, every week!