Sallie Mae Fund, the charitable arm of private student lender Sallie Mae, said on Thursday it will contribute $4.5 million over the next three years to promote diversity in higher education.
“Systemic racism, discrimination, and oppression of African Americans and communities of color have gone on too long. It’s not enough to acknowledge that there’s a problem, or that inequities exist. We need to listen, and we need to act,” said Jonathan Witter, CEO, Sallie Mae, in a statement. “As a company with a foundation in education, we see first-hand how education opens doors, creates opportunities, and advances us as a people. Those doors and opportunities, however, should be open and available to all who seek to advance through higher learning. We commit to helping make that a reality and playing a part in creating a more just and equal society.”
In partnership with the Thurgood Marshall College Fund, the Sallie Mae Fund will launch new programs this fall to provide a total of $3 million in scholarships over the next three years to help minority students and underserved communities access higher education and complete their post-secondary education program. The Sallie Mae Fund also will contribute a total of $1.5 million over the next three years to support educational programs that advance social justice, diversity, inclusion and equality.