Educational Campaign Aims to Raise Awareness Among Hispanic-Americans that College is an Option
The Sallie Mae Fund, the philanthropic arm of Sallie Mae, today announced the winners of the first college scholarships to be issued as part of the First in My Family campaign. The campaign is geared to raise awareness among the Hispanic-American community that a higher education is valuable and affordable.
Through a grant to the Hispanic College Fund, the Sallie Mae Fund has awarded 51 scholarships to Hispanic-American students who are first in their family to attend college and wish to pursue a career in business. The scholarships, ranging from $500 to $5,000, are the first to be awarded through the First in My Family program. A total of $100,000 in scholarships will be distributed for the upcoming academic year.
“Today only 12 percent of Hispanic-Americans earn a college degree. We can and must do better,” said Fernando Barrueta, president, Hispanic College Fund. “These scholarships from The Sallie Mae Fund will help increase access to higher education among the growing Hispanic-American population.”
The First in My Family initiative, which was launched in October 2002, also includes a public service radio and print campaign and a book in Spanish on paying for college. The first 40,000 copies of the book, entitled Ayuda Finan-ciera para su Educación Superior: Aproveche Todas las Opciones que están a su Alcance (Financial Aid For College: Take Advantage of All Your Options”) were underwritten by the Latino Education Achievement Project (LEAP). The Sallie Mae Fund has distributed the book to college and financial aid officers across the country to provide simple, accessible Spanish-language information. In addition, the Sallie Mae Fund has made the book available, at no cost, to the general public through a toll-free number, 1-866-858-7166.
Studies have shown that many Hispanic-American parents lack not only financial information, but also the vital information about financial aid they may need to guide their children through college,” said Albert L. Lord vice chairman and chief executive officer, Sallie Mae. “The Sallie Mae fund is committed to bridging this gap by providing Spanish-language information and scholarship dollars to the Hispanic-American community.”