Wells Fargo and the Thurgood Marshall College Fund are teaming up to help close the graduation gap for college seniors attending Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs).
The $1m Thurgood Marshall College Fund and Wells Fargo HBCU College Completion Scholarship program will support students to earn their degrees.
Individual scholarships up to $5,000 will be awarded to students based on financial needs to HBCU seniors hoping to graduate in 2022.
Angela Crawford, head of branch banking and consumer segments marketing at Wells Fargo said: “A college degree is too important an achievement to be derailed by financial stresses, especially for seniors so close to graduating.
“We hope these funds can help shrink the graduation gap and put more students on the path to long-term financial stability.”
Graduation rates among HBCU rates are currently among the lowest for all students, according to the latest 2019 data from the Department of Education.
The six-year graduation rate among HBCU students is 35% compared to 60% for all US college students attending four-year institutions.
In addition to this, Black and African College graduates have $25,000 more debt at graduation than other college graduates, according to Brookings Institute research.
Dr. Harry L. Williams, Thurgood Marshall College Fund president and CEO said: “We know that many students experience financial hardships that put their plans for pursuing higher education in jeopardy. We are pleased to continue our relationship with Wells Fargo to build upon our commitment to our students, who have persisted in their educational journey despite difficult circumstances.”
To be eligible for the College Completion Scholarship students must complete an online application.
They must also meet certain requirements including being a current senior at an HBCU, with plans to graduate in 2022, US citizen or legal permanent resident with a valid permanent resident card or a passport stamped I-551, a minimum 3.0 GPA on a 4.0 scale and proof of financial need in outstanding bills that would prevent persisting or graduating.
As part of the award, recipients also have the opportunity for a mentoring relationship with a Wells Fargo employee.
Applications are open from November 9, 2021, through to January 3, 2022.