One of the nation’s largest mutual fund companies, Fidelity Investments, is pledging $250 million to help as many as 50,000 Black, Latinx, and historically underserved students go to college.
The Boston-based firm is making the commitment via a fresh social impact initiative known as Invest in My Education. The effort over the next five years will include providing students with scholarships and mentorships. It will also focus on boosting college graduation rates, helping students finish school with no debt, and providing assistance in obtaining well-paying jobs after college.
The support is truly needed. Fidelity disclosed that just 21% of Black students who start college, graduate within four years, versus 45% of white students. Moreover, the company revealed that Black and Latinx students accumulate $25,000 more in student debt than their white peers.
To help combat some of the disparity, Fidelity is joining with United Negro College Fund (UNCF), which calls itself the nation’s largest and most effective education organization.
With the gift, UNCF revealed it has gained the largest philanthropic corporate gift in its 78-year history from Fidelity Investments to launch the Fidelity Scholars Program. The UNCF reported Fidelity is donating $190 million to UNCF as part of the company’s $250 million initiative.
Dr. Michael L. Lomax, president and CEO at UNCF stated, “We are delighted to partner with a premier global financial services company to do this work. The Fidelity Scholars Program is exemplary, innovative and demonstrates the company’s commitment to provide equal educational opportunities for low-income and underrepresented students who do not have the advantages of other students.”
Fidelity’s initiative will consist of three key components that include a scholars program, retention and completion grants, and ecosystem-building grants.
Pamela Everhart, Head of Regional Public Affairs and Community Relations, Fidelity Investments, stated, “By taking a unique, long-term and holistic approach, Invest in My Education has the potential to support economic mobility for up to 50,000 students over the next five years — and that is really just the beginning.”
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