Equity & Diversity

Colleges

August 04, 1999 2 min read

Hispanics in Higher Ed.: The Lilly Endowment has provided a $50 million grant to the San Francisco-based Hispanic Scholarship Fund in an effort to promote the pursuit of higher education among Latinos.

The grant from the Indianapolis foundation will provide 3,400 college scholarships and is considered to be the largest ever given to support Hispanics in higher education, said Dale Needles, a vice president of the scholarship fund.

Money from the grant will pay for three scholarship programs. The first will offer $2,500 each to 2,000 students across the country who attend community colleges and then transfer to four-year schools. The second is to offer $2,500 each to 600 students who attend community colleges, and a third will give $1,250 each to 800 graduating high school students, provided their communities match the scholarship amounts. The latter two programs will be offered to students from geographic areas with large Hispanic populations.

The remainder of the money will be used to finance initiatives already in progress at the fund.

Fewer than 10 percent of Hispanics in the United States graduate from four-year colleges, one of the lowest college-completion rates of any racial or ethnic group, Sara Martinez Tucker, the president and chief executive officer of the Hispanic Scholarship Fund, said in a written statement.

Community Colleges: Analysts at the Education Commission of the States in Denver will use a federal grant to identify, collect, develop, and disseminate information on community colleges on an unprecendentedly large scale.

The ECS center, thanks to a $750,000 grant announced by the U.S. Department of Education last month, will “help create a clearinghouse for community college issues and practices that will promote better connections between policymakers and educators nationwide,” Secretary of Education Richard W. Riley said in a statement.

The funding comes as the demand for community colleges is increasing greatly, Kay McClenney, the interim president of the ECS, said in an interview last week. As the number of recent high school graduates bound for college skyrockets, so too does the number of nontraditional students changing careers, earning second degrees, and choosing to take enrichment classes.

“The establishment of the center comes at a time when the interest and demand for [such] services are expanding,” Ms. McClenney said. “We have never seen a need that was so evident and yet so unmet.”

--Julie Blair jblair@epe.org

A version of this article appeared in the August 04, 1999 edition of Education Week

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