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Why was Student Freedom Initiative created? How is it unique?
Student Freedom Initiative was created to address the wealth gap by targeting the disproportionate student loan debt burden faced by all too many students of color. Structured as a “pay it forward” program, donations and payments made by participating students will enable Student Freedom Initiative to operate as a self-sustaining program that will benefit future generations of students and their families. Our program is designed so that every $10 million invested in the program will cover 100 new students at MSIs every year, forever.
We are unique because we are building an endowment without walls that provides a replacement for the Parent Plus and private loans for eligible students majoring in STEM attending HBCUs, forever. Based on the funds raised, it is our aspiration to extend this endowment without walls to other MSIs.
We provide holistic services that are evidence-based, and student-centered; and leverage proven, scalable solutions and strategic partnerships. Our mission is to provide a catalyst for freedom in professional and life choice by enabling the upward social and economic mobility of students of color through three integrated components: (1) Income Contingent Alternative – a self-sustaining fund with increased flexibility and lower cost in comparison to Parent Plus and private loans for juniors and seniors majoring in STEM, (2) Internships – hands on experience in career area of study, access to corporate leadership, industry recognized certifications, and team projects for rising sophomores and above across all majors, and (3) Tutoring, Mentorships, and Other Services - Increased persistence through wrap around services, including emergency microgrants. Not only do we assist students, we support participating institutions increase their resilience and competitiveness by providing cyber security upgrades to retain access to needs-based funding and grant writing support.