Today, 60 percent of students supported by UNCF are the first in their families to attend college; 62 percent are from families with annual income of less than $25,000; and 93 percent qualify for financial aid.
At a time when a college degree is what a high school diploma was to previous generations, the minimum entry-level requirement for almost every well-paying career, UNCF plays a critical role in enabling more than 60,000 students each year to attend college and get the education they want and deserve. To close the educational attainment gap between African Americans and the majority population, UNCF helps promising students attend college and graduate by:
- Providing operating funds for its 39 member colleges, all of them small, liberal arts institutions, making it possible for them to offer their students 21st century academic programs while keeping their tuitions to less than half the average of other private colleges;
- Administering 400 scholarship and internship programs, so that even students from low- and moderate-income families can afford college tuition, books and room and board;
- Serving as a national advocate for the importance minority higher education by representing the public policy interests of its students and member colleges, through its annual television program, An Evening of Stars®, and by using print and electronic media to carry out the mission implicit in its motto, “A mind is a terrible thing to waste.”®
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