Student Freedom Initiative Expands to West Virginia State University

Student Freedom Initiative Expands to West Virginia State University

WASHINGTON, DC – August 23, 2022 – Today, Student Freedom Initiative announced the next round of Minority Serving Institutions (MSIs) that will participate in its program including West Virginia State University.

The addition of 14 institutions increases the number of states with schools participating in Student Freedom Initiative’s Income Contingent Alternative to Parent PLUS Component from 10 to 16 and the number of participating schools from 20 to 34. This addition provides Student Freedom Initiative with the potential to positively impact over 15,986 additional students supported by this component.

The selected institutions include the following MSIs: Alabama State University (AL), Albany State University (GA), Bennett College (NC), Central State University (OH), City California State University, Long Beach (CA), University of NY (CUNY) – Hunter College (NY), Morris College (SC), Lincoln University (PA), Saint Augustine’s University (NC), Stillman College (AL), University of California – Riverside (CA), Virginia State University (VA), West Virginia State University (WV), and Wilberforce University (OH).

“West Virginia State University is excited to join Student Freedom Initiative’s fall 2023 cohort of schools,” said Ericke S. Cage, President of West Virginia State University. “This program provides incredible opportunities to students at our sister HBCUs across the nation, and we know that our students here at WVSU will similarly benefit through the financial freedom, internship opportunities, tutoring, mentoring and support that Student Freedom Initiative provides.”

With the addition of the 11 HBCUs, Student Freedom Initiative is now engaged with 48 HBCUs participating in one or more components of the program in a total of 18 states.  This represents approximately 48% of all HBCUs.

About Student Freedom Initiative
A single purpose nonprofit organization, Student Freedom Initiative aims to reduce the wealth gap through the lens of education. This is achieved by providing a catalyst for freedom in professional and life choices for students attending Minority Serving Institutions (“MSIs”) by increasing their social and economic mobility using a student centric, evidence based, holistic, and collaborative approach. Initially focused on Historically Black Colleges and Universities, Student Freedom Initiative enables mobility through four transformational components: (1) Student Freedom Fund as an income contingent alternative to Parent Plus loans, (2) Internships and industry-driven certifications, (3) Tutoring/Mentorships/Other Services, and (4) Targeted HBCU Capacity Building (e.g., access to affordable broadband, strengthening endowment governance and risk adjusted returns, workforce development in clean energy).  Student Freedom Initiative collaborates with community-based organizations, businesses, and governmental entities through public-private partnerships to make sustainable, systemic changes to support the entire HBCU ecosystem.

To date, Student Freedom Initiative has received generous contributions from Robert F. Smith, Fund 2 Foundation, Cisco, Jane Street, Prudential, and the Walmart Foundation. The program has also been acknowledged and supported by the Business Roundtable's Racial Equity & Justice Subcommittee on Education. Our ability to provide support to MSI students is based on the continued financial support of these donors and others interested in supporting our mission.

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