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Sallie Mae And Delaware State University Announce Partnership to Address Barriers to College Completion


The Sallie Mae Fund Commits $1 Million to DSU to Research Completion Gaps and Identify and Re-engage Those With Some College and No Degree

Sallie Mae® today announced a $1 million research endowment to Delaware State University (DSU) to help close the college completion gap. The grant from The Sallie Mae Fund will support a comprehensive three-year “Persistence and Completion Pilot Program” that will study and identify barriers to degree completion, help students return to school and complete, and help advance policy recommendations and best practices to enhance student re-engagement.

The $1 million contribution will endow a research fellow, further support DSU’s current completion program, and include $125,000 in scholarships to help cover tuition, fees, and unexpected costs for DSU students who show financial need. The program will be housed at DSU’s School of Graduate, Adult, and Extended Studies.

“The Institute for Black Economic Mobility at McKinsey & Company already makes the case that nontraditional investments like this one coupled with the natural talent pipeline that HBCUs continue to provide could increase Black worker incomes by around $10 billion in addition to strengthening the economy and decreasing student-loan debt by $300 million,” said Tony Allen, President, Delaware State University, and the President’s Board of Advisors on Historically Black Colleges and Universities. “When I think about the millions of talented students that stop going to school because of unexpected family obligations or financial challenges that simply could not be overcome, it is a loud alarm to us all that we should be doing more. Sallie Mae is answering the call, and I am hoping many other education solutions providers will join them.”

The number of students with some college experience but no degree has reached 40 million, 6.5 million of whom are Black students. For Black students, particularly those from low-resource communities, HBCUs are the best return on investment and remain the primary driver of moving low-income Black people into the middle class. Additionally, HBCUs advance students from lower-income families to higher incomes at roughly twice the rate of non-minority serving institutions.

“We know the promise of a higher education comes from earning a degree, yet too often, underserved and underrepresented students face obstacles that cause them to stop-out or drop out altogether,” said Jon Witter, CEO, Sallie Mae. “Our mission-aligned partnership with DSU aims to remove barriers to degree completion so that more students have the resources they need to cross the finish line.”

Through a collaborative, student-centered and data-informed approach, research findings and learnings will be presented at a future DSU HBCU Philanthropy Symposium to offer outcomes and recommend solutions that can be broadly considered and implemented at HBCUs and institutions nationwide.

“Ensuring every institution of higher learning here has the same opportunity to provide an unparalleled educational experience is a priority of Delaware’s congressional delegation,” said U.S. Senators Tom Carper and Chris Coons, and U.S. Representative Lisa Blunt Rochester (all D-Del.). “We applaud Sallie Mae not just for their national financial leadership providing access to educational opportunities, but for being a good faith corporate citizen looking to lift up neighbors and strike at the heart of systemic inequality.”

Details of the new strategic partnership were announced at the Delaware State University Scholarship Ball in front of supporters and members of the Delaware congressional delegation.

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Category: Community and Philanthropy

Sallie Mae (Nasdaq: SLM) believes education and life-long learning, in all forms, help people achieve great things. As the leader in private student lending, we provide financing and know-how to support access to college and offer products and resources to help customers make new goals and experiences, beyond college, happen. Learn more at Commonly known as Sallie Mae, SLM Corporation and its subsidiaries are not sponsored by or agencies of the United States of America.

Tacy Cresson

Source: Sallie Mae

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