UNCF Needs Communities Across America to Help Students Graduate this Spring: Text "UNCF" to 50555

Mar 30, 2011, 11:59 ET from United Negro College Fund

$1 Million Needed From Concerned Individuals, Corporations & Foundations

FAIRFAX, Va., March 30, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- UNCF–the United Negro College Fund–the nation's largest and most effective minority education organization, needs communities' support across America to help thousands of economy-impacted college students short of funds to pay their tuition and room and board balances in order to graduate this spring.  The UNCF Campaign For Emergency Student Aid is an initiative to help students at UNCF's 39 member historically black colleges and universities complete their senior year and get their diplomas.  Nationally, UNCF has raised nearly $3 million toward its $4 million goal for this academic year to ensure that 2,600 at risk students graduate this spring. Concerned advocates for education are encouraged to join UNCF and the more than 10,000 individuals, corporations, organizations who have already signed on and made donations to ensure that students – who have done everything in their power to graduate – walk across the stage and receive their college diplomas.  

(Logo: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20101110/UNCFLOGO)

"Thousands of students are so close to crossing the finish line and getting their college degrees," said Michael L. Lomax, Ph.D., UNCF president and CEO.  "They have worked hard but are falling short financially.  It is critical for all Americans who understand the power of an education and the doors it can open, to join forces to help these students get the education they need and our nation needs them to have. Many of these students will not be able to graduate this year if those who understand don't step up to help."  

As the recession lingers, many students at UNCF schools continue to find themselves in financially vulnerable positions.   Layoffs, pay cuts, and the disappearance of many private student loan programs have left students owing money for tuition, text books, and dormitory rooms--bills that must be paid before they can graduate.  Education advocates, supporters and friends of UNCF can text "UNCF" to 50555 on their cell phones to donate $10 to help students walk the last mile of their education. To learn more and make an online donation, visit www.uncf.org and click on the Campaign for Emergency Student Aid icon.

Individuals, corporations and foundations across America can help thousands of students finish the spring semester by contributing to the Campaign For Emergency Student Aid.  At the UNCF "A Mind Is" Gala held March 7th, corporations like Corning, Aetna Inc and AT&T stepped up and donated $100,000 each to help students who have done everything in their power to graduate, to cross the finish line. Lowe's contributed $500,000 to the campaign this year. Many companies match their employees' donations, doubling the support for these deserving college seniors.  Other companies, like ExxonMobil and the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, have given CESA challenge grants--donations that UNCF matches--again effectively doubling the donation.  All of them help a graduating senior complete the final year of their college education.

Since its founding, UNCF has helped more than 400,000 students earn degrees from its 39 member colleges and universities. Today, 55,000 students attend UNCF member institutions each year.

About UNCF

UNCF—the United Negro College Fund—is the nation's largest and most effective minority education organization.  To serve youth, the community and the nation, UNCF supports students' education and development through scholarships and other programs, strengthens its 39 member colleges and universities, and advocates for the importance of minority education.  UNCF institutions and other historically black colleges and universities are highly effective, awarding 21 percent of African American baccalaureate degrees. UNCF administers more than 400 programs, including scholarship, internship and fellowship, mentoring, summer enrichment, and curriculum and faculty development programs. Today, UNCF supports more than 60,000 students at over 900 colleges and universities across the country. Its logo features the UNCF torch of leadership in education and its widely recognized motto, "A mind is a terrible thing to waste."® Learn more at www.UNCF.org

SOURCE United Negro College Fund