July 09, 2001

The Hispanic Scholarship Fund (HSF) announced that during the 2000-2001 academic year the organization awarded approximately $19.3 million in college scholarships. This figure represents more than $11.7 million in HSF scholarships along with $7.6 million awarded by HSF through the Gates Millennium Scholars Program, enabling 6,070 students in the United States and Puerto Rico to further their college education.

"The growth and success of the Hispanic Scholarship Fund are a result of the hard work, dedication and commitment of our team, board members, corporate partners, and private foundations who recognize that investing in the educational success of the Hispanic community will help build a strong economic future for America," said Sara Martinez Tucker, HSF president and chief executive officer. "The true testament of our success is the number of students we have helped through our efforts as well as our ability to continue to help more students every year."

Since its creation in 1975, HSF has experienced tremendous growth, from awarding $30,000 in scholarships to 115 HSF scholars in its first year, to awarding $19.3 million in scholarships to more than 6,000 students in the most recent academic year. HSF also has evolved as an organization by expanding its focus with separate scholarship programs supporting college retention, community college transfer, and graduating high school seniors. HSF now works to increase the number of Latinos in the college education pipeline by reinforcing the importance of higher education in the Hispanic community and by providing the tools for students and parents to become familiar with the college application and financial aid processes.

Earlier in 2001, HSF launched the first of a network of on-campus Student Scholar Chapters with a $1 million grant from the Goldman Sachs Foundation, establishing a presence for the organization at leading universities across the country. In May, HSF held its first conference in Washington, D.C., bringing together representatives from the private and public sector -- including President George W. Bush, Secretary of Education Rod Paige and former Secretary of Education Richard R. Riley -- to discuss issues affecting Hispanic higher education. Today, HSF partners with more than 100 Fortune 1000 companies, national and regional foundations, numerous workplace giving campaigns, and more than 30 community fundraising events to accomplish its mission of improving the educational achievement of Hispanic Americans.

According to Martinez Tucker, an independent study found that 97 percent of all students selected as HSF scholars attain their college degrees, many overcoming significant social and economic barriers. Almost 90 percent of HSF scholars earn salaries above the national median income, and 60 percent earn at least double the average annual income of a typical Hispanic American.

The Challenge

The recently released U.S. Census 2000 data reveals that the Hispanic population increased by more than 50 percent since 1990. In addition, one of every five new entrants to the workforce today is Hispanic, and the number and percentage are increasing.

Yet a significant education deficit exists between Hispanics and other ethnic groups. In 1998, 10 percent of Hispanics aged 25 to 29 held a bachelor's degree, compared with 32 percent of non-Hispanic whites -- the largest gap in the last 30 years. It also is estimated Hispanics will be the only ethnic group to see an increase in the number of high school dropouts, with the rate doubling by 2010, reaching 32 percent.

In 1998, HSF commissioned California-based think tank RAND Corporation to conduct a study to explore exactly what it would take to double the rate of Hispanics earning college degrees and quantify the benefits of meeting this goal. The study found that reaching this goal would create a return on investment of 400 percent, and taxpayers would reap revenue projected at $13 billion through reduced public spending and increased tax contributions among the Hispanic population. Additional benefits would impact the private sector through increased discretionary income and consumer spending.

About the Hispanic Scholarship Fund

Applications for the HSF College Scholarship Program are available from the HSF website at www.hsf.net between August 1st and October 9th and the deadline to submit the application is October 15. HSF offers scholarships ranging from $1,000 to $3,000 for undergraduate and graduate students of all majors.

The Hispanic Scholarship Fund is the nation's leading Hispanic educational organization. HSF was founded in 1975 based on a vision to strengthen the country by advancing college education among Hispanic Americans, the fastest- growing segment of the U.S. population. Today HSF provides more college scholarships to the Latino community than any other organization, in support of its mission to double the rate of Hispanics earning college degrees. In its 26-year history, HSF has awarded more than 45,000 scholarships totaling nearly $60 million to Latinos from all 50 states and Puerto Rico, who have attended more than 1,300 colleges and universities. To learn more about the organization, or to get additional details about how to apply for a scholarship, visit www.hsf.net or call 1-877-473-4636.

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