Athens, Ga. – A $2.4 million gift from The Goizueta Foundation is expanding need-based scholarships at the University of Georgia for students who are fluent in Spanish, the most rapidly growing segment of the state’s college-age population.
“This generous gift from The Goizueta Foundation will help ensure that financial hardship doesn’t prevent talented students from achieving their goals,” said UGA President Michael F. Adams. “By expanding access to higher education, the gift also benefits the entire state by helping educate Georgia’s workforce and shaping its future leaders.”
The gift will fund three scholarship programs over seven years:
- The Opportunity Scholarship will provide need-based tuition support to a total of 60 incoming freshman and can be renewed for four years of undergraduate education.
- The Leadership Scholarship Program will provide need-based tuition support to 28 students of exceptional academic talent. The program also provides mentoring support and extensive academic enrichment opportunities, such as seminars with distinguished faculty and visiting scholars.
- The Transfer Opportunity Scholarship will support 36 successful students who wish to transfer to UGA. The program will reach students who might not otherwise be able to continue their education beyond an associate’s degree.
According to the Southern Regional Education Board, Latino and Hispanic students comprised less than four percent of Georgia high-school graduates in 2005 but are projected to comprise 12 percent of the state’s high school graduates in 2015 and 24 percent of high-school graduates in 2022. Yet the SREB notes that only 27 percent of Hispanic 18- to 24-year-olds attend college, compared to 33 percent of African Americans and 43 percent of white students.
Race and ethnicity are not considered in selection for admission to UGA, but the gift from The Goizueta Foundation allows the UGA Office of Admissions to expand outreach and recruitment efforts designed to encourage Spanish-speaking students to attend college.
One such program, called Gear Up for College, has been funded by The Goizueta Foundation since 2008 and allows Latino eighth grade students to experience a day as college students through a series of activities and presentations on campus. In addition to touring campus, the students learn how to prepare for college admission, research colleges and universities, and visit with Latino students and faculty at UGA.
The recent gift from The Goizueta Foundation allows for the expansion of Gear Up for College to serve even more students and allows UGA admissions staff to hold similar programs at schools that are unable to send students to Athens. The gift also allows the university to create programs specifically designed for students transferring from two-year institutions.
“Our goal is to get students excited about college and also to help them walk away with knowledge that will help them be successful,” said UGA Associate Vice President for Admissions and Enrollment Management Nancy McDuff.
Founded in 1992, The Goizueta Foundation provides financial assistance to educational and charitable institutions. It was established by Roberto C. Goizueta, who was chairman of the board of directors and chief executive officer of The Coca-Cola Company until his death in 1997. To learn more about The Goizueta Foundation, see www.goizuetafoundation.org/.