USA Funds, a nonprofit organization that helps American families benefit from postsecondary education, announces the award of more than $1.2 million in grants for the quarter ending Dec. 31, 2011. USA Funds awarded 25 grants to organizations in 13 states and the District of Columbia.
“The quarter’s grant awards support a new initiative to help African-American students at community colleges complete their studies and pursue four-year degrees,” said Robert C. Ballard, USA Funds senior vice president, Access and Outreach. “USA Funds also is supporting national scholarship programs that help minority students benefit from higher education, as well as events to help families complete the application to qualify for federal and other sources of financial aid for college.”
During the quarter, USA Funds awarded the following grants of $20,000 or more:
- The Links Foundation (Washington, D.C.) — $395,893 to support a program to enhance the transfer of African-American students from community colleges to four-year Historically Black Colleges and Universities. The program will identify students at community colleges in five states to receive financial support, mentoring, academic coaching and other services to support their successful transfer to a four-year program at an HBCU. The initiative will create a model for enhancing community college graduation rates and greater collaboration between community colleges and HBCUs.
- American Indian College Fund (Denver) — $200,000 to provide need-based scholarships to students attending tribal colleges and universities.
- Hispanic Scholarship Fund (San Francisco) — $200,000 to provide need-based scholarships to Hispanic students.
- Marian University (Indianapolis) — $100,000 to provide scholarship support to Twenty-first Century Scholars attending Marian University. Twenty-first Century Scholars are income-eligible seventh- and eighth-graders who enroll in the program, fulfill a pledge of good citizenship, and are guaranteed to receive up to four years of undergraduate tuition at any participating public college or university in Indiana.
- Alaska Commission on Postsecondary Education (Juneau, Alaska) — $50,000 to support an early awareness initiative in Alaska that promotes postsecondary education preparedness among elementary, middle and high school students.
- College & Career Connections (Washington, D.C.) — $50,000 to provide workshops, college visits and career activities for middle and high school students.
- Mid-Eastern Association of Educational Opportunity Program Personnel (Baltimore) — $47,129 to support Maryland’s College Goal Sunday events that help students and families in completing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid.
- Indiana Student Financial Aid Association (Bloomington, Ind.) — $40,000 to support Indiana’s College Goal Sunday events that help students and families in completing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid.
- Arizona Commission for Postsecondary Education (Phoenix) — $35,000 to support Arizona’s College Goal Sunday events, that help students and families in completing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid.
- Scholarship America (Minneapolis) — $31,510 to provide support and technical assistance to the Dollars for Scholars chapters that provide scholarship support to students within the Learning Communities Initiative. A collaborative program of USA Funds, Scholarship America and local organizations, the Learning Communities Initiative is working to change the learning environment and college-going rates in targeted low-income communities.
- Kansas Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators (Wichita, Kan.) — $30,000 to support Kansas’ College Goal Sunday events that help students and families in completing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid.
- Pacific Financial Aid Association (Honolulu) — $20,000 to support Hawaii’s College Goal Sunday events that help students and families in completing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid.
Between April 1 and June 15, USA Funds will accept additional grant requests that meet its guidelines. For details, visitwww.usafunds.org/community/Pages/Grants.aspx.