On October 18, 2013, the School of International and Public Affairs (SIPA) celebrated a generous donation that would impact the lives of First Generation students at Florida International University. Thanks to the generosity of AT&T, 50 First Generation students will soon be the first in their family able to attend college. AT&T’s recent gift of $25,000 to SIPA will support undergraduate First Generation student scholarships. Matched dollar-for-dollar by the State of Florida, the gift will result in a total impact of $50,000.
But who are the students eligible for the AT&T funded award? As FIU likes to call them, they are the First Generation—students who are the very first within their family to attend college. To qualify for these scholarships, students must be a member of the first generation in their family to attend college, have a 3.0 GPA or higher, be a Florida resident for tuition purposes, and be Pell Grant-eligible in terms of income. FIU is the largest “Minority Majority” university in the nation, and fully 53 percent of FIU’s 50,000 students are First Generation eligible. Unfortunately, there are only sufficient funds to give scholarships to about 20% of these deserving students.
AT&T regional director JC Flores presented the $25,000 check at a formal ceremony on October 18th to SIPA Executive Director Dr. John F. Stack, Jr. “By investing in these First Generation scholarships, AT&T and FIU will enable these young Floridians to achieve their own dreams and reach their full potential,” said Flores, who is also an active member of SIPA’s Advisory Board.
“AT&T’s generosity is an investment in creating the leaders who will thrive in today’s global society and the international environments that characterize almost every facet of contemporary life,” said Dr. Stack. He went on to say that AT&T’s gift will provide merit-based scholarships during the 2013-14 academic year for qualified undergraduate students in one of the eight SIPA departments including Criminal Justice, Economics, Global and Sociocultural Studies, History, Modern Languages, Politics and International Relations, Public Administration, and Religious Studies.
It is through strategic partnerships with private corporations such as AT&T that FIU is able to advance its mission to provide accessible higher education. As state funding continues to decline, these collaborative efforts provide the resources students need to achieve their dreams of a college education.