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The Sallie Mae Fund Launches $1 Million Florida Campaign

The Sallie Mae Fund Launches $1 Million Florida Campaign
To Increase Financial Aid Awareness Among Minorities

The Sallie Mae Fund kicked off its Florida “Paying for College” bus tour Oct. 12 at Godby High School, where students participated in a workshop on planning and paying for college. The bus tour is part of the organization’s new $1 million financial aid awareness campaign, aimed at closing the financial-aid information gap that hinders many low-income and minority Floridians from pursuing a college education.

A Mason-Dixon poll commissioned by The Sallie Mae Fund found that 95 percent of Hispanics and 80 percent of African-Americans in Florida not currently enrolled in college said they would have been more likely to attend college if they had better information about how to pay for it. And 60 percent of respondents said they would have been better students in high school if they had known that financial aid was available.

The state campaign consists of a “Get Schooled on College” radio and outdoor advertising campaign, which is geared toward high school students. It also features print ads and a television public service announcement featuring Gov. Jeb Bush and a 10-city, seven-county “Paying for College” bus tour. The tour will hold workshops on planning and paying for college for high school students and their parents in Spanish and English, one-on-one counseling and free educational materials.

“The new poll results show why we need a united effort to get more minority students to go to college,” says state Sen. Al Lawson,
D-Tallahassee. “I want to thank The Sallie Mae Fund for its $1 million commitment to this campaign to close the financial-aid information gap. I believe this smart investment in our future will return great dividends to our state.”

“Encouraging higher student achievement and increasing readiness for college are high priorities for Florida,” says Dr. David Mosrie, CEO of the Florida Association of District School Superintendents. “If students don’t think attending college is possible because of lack of knowledge about aid options, they lose a strong incentive to succeed academically.”
“The lack of knowledge about financial resources continues to be an unnecessary barrier to a college education for too many Americans,” says Kathleen deLaski, president of The Sallie Mae Fund. “Under the governor’s leadership, Florida does a great job reaching out to its diverse population. We are delighted to be working to enhance Florida’s outreach efforts.”

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