NATIONAL INITIATIVE TO INCREASE RETENTION RATES AT TOP COLLEGES
GOLDMAN SACHS FOUNDATION AND THE HISPANIC SCHOLARSHIP FUND
An ambitious $1 million national program initiated by the Hispanic Scholarship Fund and the Goldman Sachs Foundation aims to improve college retention rates among Hispanic Americans was launched this week in Austin Texas.
One hundred and thirty five students at The University of Texas at Austin have received more than $326,700 in scholarships from the Hispanic Scholarship Fund. This is the highest number of HSF recipients at any university in the country this year.
Texas Govener. Rick Perry; Stephanie Bell-Rose, president and CEO of The Goldman Sachs Foundation; Sara Martinez Tucker, HSF president and CEO; and UT Austin President Larry R. Faulkner announced the initiative on Monday (April 9) at the Texas State Capitol.
The scholarships awarded range from $1,000 to $10,000, with the average grant being about $2,500. The College’s scholarship recipients have a cumulative GPA of 3.56.
The goals of the program include the promotion of outstanding academic performance through mentoring and the development of leadership skills among HSF scholars. By connecting students with mentors such as HSF alumni, the HSF Scholar student chapters also aim to strengthen the retention rates of Hispanic students. In addition, mentors will reach out to high school graduates and encourage them to seek their college diplomas.
“It’s a major investment in the state. But (it’s) one that I happen to think will return huge dividends. That’s because an investment in an educated mind is an investment in an unlimited future. It’s an investment in the future of Texas, and I happen to think it’s an investment in America,” said Perry. He applauded the HSF for its 25-year history of nurturing the hopes and investing in the future of thousands of Hispanic students since 1975.
“With this grant to HSF, The Goldman Sachs Foundation has enabled us to fill a void and build a much-needed community among HSF scholars,” said Martinez Tucker. “In addition to providing scholarships, we recognize the importance of providing guidance, mentoring, and a support system that allows these talented young women and men to obtain their degrees.”
Bell-Rose said the Goldman Sachs Foundation grant to HSF is an investment in the country’s future.
“This gift reflects our goal to develop exceptional young leaders by equipping promising students to enter and thrive in top universities and challenging careers,” Bell-Rose said.
Faulkner said, “We applaud the Goldman Sachs Foundation for its wonderful support of the Hispanic Scholarship Fund. The fund is assisting outstanding young students realize their potential on the University of Texas Austin campus, and at colleges across the country. The UT at Austin is committed to the success of the new HSF Scholar Chapters and Alumni Network and the goal of strengthening the Latino educational pipeline.”
HSF provides scholarships based on merit, with consideration of financial need, to Hispanic Americans of all ethnicities and races. According to the HSF, a recent independent study found that ninety seven percent of all students selected as HSF scholars obtained their university degrees. Many HSF scholars overcome significant economic and social barriers. In 2000, seventy percent of HSF scholars came from low-income families and fifty seven percent represented the first generation to attend college.