San Antonio, TX–(HISPANIC PR WIRE)–October 22, 2007–The Hispanic Association of Colleges & Universities (HACU) today announced a $125,000 commitment over five years from Sallie Mae, the nation’s leading saving- and paying-for-college company. The commitment will fund educational outreach to Hispanic-Serving School Districts (HSSD) across the country about best practices in advising students on planning and paying for college. The announcement takes place today at a partnership luncheon held at the Hispanic Association of Colleges & Universities (HACU)’s Annual Conference in Chicago.
“We are thrilled Sallie Mae made the commitment to support our newest initiative with the Hispanic-Serving School Districts,” said Antonio Flores, Ph.D., President and CEO of HACU. “The funds will allow the opportunity to form a Hispanic-Serving School District Advisory Council. With the council’s leadership and advice, we hope to strengthen our commitment to the school districts across the country and increase the number of well-prepared K-12 students entering the Hispanic higher education pipeline.”
As part of the commitment, Sallie Mae will provide its college-planning Web site development tool, as well as printed materials in both English and Spanish, to all participating HSSD schools. These resources will be used by the school districts to educate their students and families about planning and paying for college.
“Sallie Mae is proud to work with HACU to bring these important educational resources to school districts with large Hispanic populations all across the country,” said Maria Frias, Senior Vice President, Hispanic Initiatives, Sallie Mae. “Research has shown us that the earlier students and families receive the critical message that college is possible, the earlier they can plan for how to pay for higher education, and eventually realize their education dreams.”
Graduating from college pays lifelong dividends: according to the U.S. Census Bureau, college graduates on average earn over $1 million more during their lifetimes than high school dropouts. But studies show that for every 100 Hispanic children entering kindergarten, just 63 will graduate from high school and only 11 will obtain a bachelor’s degree by the age of 29.
About HACU – The Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities (HACU) was established in 1986 with a founding membership of eighteen institutions. Today, HACU represents more than 450 colleges and universities committed to Hispanic higher education success in the U.S., Puerto Rico, LatinAmerica, Spain and Portugal. Although their member institutions in the U. S. represent less than 7% of all higher education institutions nationwide, together they are home to more than two-thirds of all Hispanic college students. HACU is the only national educational association that represents Hispanic-Serving Institutions (HSIs). HACU is a non-profit organization committed to assuring higher education access and success for Hispanic students. For more information, visit http://www.hacu.net.
SLM Corporation (NYSE: SLM), commonly known as Sallie Mae, is the nation’s leading provider of saving- and paying-for-college programs. The company manages $160 billion in education loans and serves nearly 10 million student and parent customers. Through its Upromise affiliates, the company also manages $19 billion in 529 college-savings plans, and 8 million members have joined Upromise to help save for college with rewards on purchases at nearly 70,000 places. Sallie Mae and its subsidiaries offer debt management services as well as business and technical products to a range of business clients, including higher education.