More than $330,000 given to 10 Wisconsin institutions to promote learning opportunities
Each year, thousands of students face the tough decision of determining how to pay for college. According to a recent article*, only 9 percent of low-income students received college degrees, while 54 percent of students from wealthy families obtained bachelor’s degrees.
To help ease students’ financial concerns, Northwestern Mutual, through its Foundation, is announcing 12 grants totaling $336,000 to Wisconsin colleges and universities that increase access to higher education.
The grants support scholarship opportunities and fund specialized programs in areas such as information technology. The 10 schools receiving grants represent both private and public institutions and are located throughout the state.
“Education is a driving force for any growing economy and healthy community,” said John Kordsmeier, president, Northwestern Mutual Foundation. “These grants enable more first generation and minority students to cross the graduation stage, demonstrating how this support positively impacts the individual, the city and the talent pool.”
Spotlight on Alverno College, Northwestern Mutual Capstone Scholarships Alverno College, one of the nation’s largest Catholic women’s colleges, is a grant recipient. Founded in 1887, the Milwaukee-based school has an undergraduate and graduate-student population of more than 2,600.
The grant will fund the Northwestern Mutual Capstone Scholarship program, which targets low-income, first-generation seniors who participate in Alverno’s Promise Scholars program. The Promise Scholars program was launched in 2010 to improve retention and graduation rates.
Promise Scholars have a higher graduation rate than other students.
The funds from this grant will continue the Northwestern Mutual Capstone Scholarship program and be available to the current class of 50 seniors in the Promise Scholars Program. The scholarships support students at the beginning of their senior year to both reduce incidents of students delaying graduation and help motivate them to finish their degree.
“Typically, students who are the first in the families to go to college bring higher motivation, but they also face greater obstacles, especially related to finances,” said Mary Meehan, president, Alverno College. “By supporting Alverno’s Promise Scholars program, Northwestern Mutual helps ensure that first-generation students graduate. That accomplishment changes their lives and their families’ lives, and strengthens our community as well.”