Helping Hispanic achievement

The University of Georgia will share a $12.3 million grant with the University of Texas at Austin to develop and launch a new collaborative pilot program designed to identify, implement, and evaluate best practices for recruiting, retaining and graduating Hispanic students. The grant is administered by the Hispanic Scholarship Fund and supported by the Lilly Endowment, Inc.

“Georgia’s Hispanic population has grown 300 percent in the last decade and is the third-fastest growing in the country,” said UGA President Michael F. Adams. “Our ability to identify and participate in innovative programs that better serve the Hispanic community will benefit not only our state, but the country.”

The University of Georgia was selected to conduct the pilot program because of the burgeoning Hispanic population in Georgia, where the university is situated. The program will be compared to the practices in place at the University of Texas at Austin, which has a long history of attracting and retaining students from an established Hispanic community.

“As the number of Latino students in Texas continues to rise and the university explores how it can improve graduation rates among Hispanic students, relationships with organizations such as the Hispanic Scholarship Fund are important to our success,” said University of Texas at Austin president Larry Faulkner. “We look forward to building on current programs whose aims are to retain and support our Latino students.”

The grant was part of $22 million in funding announced today at a ceremony in Washington, D.C. by the Hispanic Scholarship Fund to commemorate the organization’s 30th anniversary. U.S. Secretary of Education Margaret Spellings was present to commend the organization on its mission of building a college-going culture among Hispanic families, ensuring more Hispanics enroll in college, and providing support to help Hispanics earn their degrees.

“In our first 30 years, we were fortunate to have tremendous support from major corporations throughout America, and for that we are grateful,” said HSF President and CEO Sara Martinez Tucker. “Today, with major foundations joining them, we will be able to continue to invest in the future of some of our nation’s most promising young people, in ways that will yield returns on those investments for many years to come.”