SAN FRANCISCO, (TN Tribune) – Wells Fargo and the Thurgood Marshall College Fund (TMCF) are teaming up to help close the graduation gap for college seniors attending Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs).
The $1 million Thurgood Marshall College Fund – Wells Fargo HBCU College Completion Scholarship program will support students making the final push to earn their degrees. Individual scholarships, up to $5,000, will be awarded based on financial need to HBCU seniors hoping to graduate in 2022.
“A college degree is too important an achievement to be derailed by financial stresses, especially for seniors so close to graduating,” says Angela Crawford, head of Branch Banking & Consumer Segments Marketing, Wells Fargo. “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 students are currently among the lowest for all students, according to the latest 2019 data from the Department of Education. The 6-year graduation rate among HBCU students is 35% compared to 60% for all U.S. college students attending four-year institutions. Adding to the disparity, 2021 Brookings Institute research found Black & African American college graduates, on average, hold $25,000 more debt at graduation than other college graduates.
“TMCF is committed to holistically supporting HBCU students and removing barriers they may encounter on the road to graduation,” said Dr. Harry L. Williams, Thurgood Marshall College Fund president and CEO. “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 the online application and meet the following requirements:
- Current senior at an HBCU, with plans to graduate in 2022
- U.S. 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
- 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 Nov. 9, 2021, through Jan. 3, 2022. Full details can be found at www.wellsfargo.com/scholarship.