Families of Freedom Scholarship Fund Will Provide $8.4 Million to 9/11 Familiy Members & Relief Workers This School Year

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09 Sep 2009
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The Families of Freedom Scholarship Fund® announced today that it will provide $8.4 million in needs-based postsecondary scholarships to 520 eligible members of the 9/11 community for the 2009-2010 academic year.  More than $4.2 million has already been distributed for the September ’09 semester; the remaining half will be dispersed in December ’09 for the semester beginning in January 2010. Between January 2002 - when scholarships were first awarded - and December 2009, the Families of Freedom Fund will have distributed more than $46.6 million to approximately 1,400 individuals.

Established in the days immediately following 9/11, The Families of Freedom Scholarship Fund is a needs-based program that provides postsecondary scholarship assistance to financially eligible dependent children, spouses and domestic partners of those who were killed on 9/11.  Beneficiaries of the Fund include families of airplane crews and passengers, World Trade Center and Pentagon workers and visitors, and those who were permanently disabled. The Fund is managed by Scholarship America®, the nation’s largest non-profit, private sector scholarship and educational support organization.

“Education transforms lives, so I am very proud that The Families of Freedom Fund is getting scholarship assistance to the people who need and deserve it most,” said Rhianna Quinn Roddy, Executive Director of Designated Funds for Scholarship America.  “As a New Yorker, I am also honored to have the opportunity to work with our families and to ensure that as more and more members of the 9/11 community come of age that this Fund will be there to help them realize their goals and potential.”  

Since its inception in 2001, the Families of Freedom Scholarship Fund has transformed the lives of close to 1,400 scholarship recipients.

  • This year’s total annual award of $8.4 million is up from $7.4 million in 2008/2009 and will continue to surpass last year’s awards as additional applications are processed for the current academic year.
  • The current average scholarship award for the 2009/2010 academic year is approximately $16,000.  Everyone who applied this year received at least $1,000 in assistance.  This year’s highest award topped $40,000.
  • It is estimated that the peak years for scholarship demand will be between 2010 and 2019 when more than 600 students per year will demonstrate financial need and are projected to receive scholarships.

Among the 520 students receiving scholarship support from the Families of Freedom Scholarship Fund this year, approximately 64 percent reside in New York and 20 percent in New Jersey.  Other recipients hail from California, Connecticut, Delaware, Georgia, Hawaii, Louisiana, Massachusetts, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia and Vermont.   

Among the schools these students will attend are Harvard Medical School, Yale University, University of Pennsylvania, Carnegie Mellon University, Cornell University, Fordham University, St. John’s University, Pace, Georgetown, schools in the New York State and other State University systems, and hundreds of other private and state schools around the country.

It is estimated that that about 5,400 students remain eligible for scholarship funds.  The Families of Freedom Fund was designed to assist families after they have taken advantage of other sources of tuition assistance.  Approximately $117 million is still available for scholarship distribution through 2030, when the Fund is scheduled to sunset.

Quinn Roddy added, “We are committed to spending all of the funds for their intended purpose: to provide needs-based scholarship assistance.”

The Families of Freedom Scholarship Fund began with an initial $1 million pledge and $2 million matching grant from the Lumina Foundation. With President Bill Clinton and U.S. Senator Bob Dole as campaign co-chairs, the Fund sparked incredible generosity nationwide.  Donations were received from more than 20,000 corporations, foundations, educational institutions, grassroots organizations, and individuals, raising more than $125 million.

Beginning September 11, 2009, donations to the Families of Freedom Fund can now be made on-line by visiting www.familiesoffreedom.org .   

For information about the Families of Freedom Scholarship Fund, or to find out how to register please go to www.familiesoffreedom.org or call 877-862-0136.

Jaime Strohmenger/Colleen Roche
Linden Alschuler & Kaplan Public Relations
(212) 575-4545

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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.

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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.

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