by Diana Givens
Parents and their college-bound children tend to dread one five-letter word as college acceptance season rolls around: FAFSA. The FAFSA, or Free Application for Federal Student Aid, which is released on Jan. 1 of each year, is a form families must fill out in order to qualify for federal college loans and grants, as well as a majority of scholarships and aid that are available. A lot of questions come up when filing this document, including the right time to fill out the FAFSA, whether you should complete it prior to filing your federal income taxes for the previous year and how to report savings. Weâ€™ve got you covered! BlackEnterprise.com spoke to Marcia E. Weston, Director of College Goal Sunday at YMCA of the USAâ€”a free, statewide volunteer program that assists students and families applying for financial aidâ€”on helpful tips to completing the juggernaut of college paperworkâ€”and getting more money.
Historically Black colleges and universities have produced some of the best professional talent across various sectors. Since protests of racial injustice sparked many dialogues last year, many have used the opportunity to help keep HBCUs open and performing. This week, global beer and liquor maker Diageo announced it will be donating $10 million to 25 HBCUs across the country.
The new endowment will also include the creation of a permanent fund to provide assistance to students at selected schools across various disciplines. “We are proud to partner with these esteemed institutions and to do our part to help shape a more equitable society by providing opportunities for future leaders,” said President, Diageo North America Debra Crew in a press statement. “This initiative further deepens Diageo’s commitment to making a long term and sustainable impact on underrepresented communities.”
The new $10 million pledge also includes an initiative to create hubs at select HBCUs and other platforms to drive diversity within the sectors. “I am proud to work for a company that shares my commitment to equity and inclusion. Diageo’s long history of supporting efforts to contribute to the greater good, are values that we consistently challenge ourselves to embrace,” said Howard alum and Co-Chair of the A.H.E.A.D. Business Resource Group at Diageo North America Malcolm Ellis in the statement.
“For over a century HBCUs have blazed trails in several disciplines for countless Black professionals and still remain a haven, and a refuge for many. This partnership supports pipelining of talent into business and industry.”
Proud to share that we have established a new initiative partnering with 25 HBCUs – includes $10m to create permanent endowed funds, Innovation Hubs and an internship platform to help develop future leaders and drive diversity in the industry. More here: https://t.co/s2xECO04Ek pic.twitter.com/zcIKDAnhg7— Diageo North America (@Diageo_NA) February 3, 2021
The schools that will receive funding will include Alabama A&M University, Alabama State University, Bowie State University, Clark Atlanta University, Delaware State University, Dillard University, Fisk University, Fort Valley State University, Florida A&M University, Grambling State University, Hampton University, Harris-Stowe State University, Howard University, Jackson State University, Kentucky State University, Morehouse College, Morgan State University, Norfolk State University, North Carolina A&T University, North Carolina Central University, Tennessee State University, Tuskegee University, University of Virgin Islands, Winston-Salem State University, and Xavier University.