With the cost of a four-year degree program an insurmountable financial hurdle for many students and families, today nearly half of all undergraduates are enrolled at community colleges. For 15 years Point Foundation (Point), the largest scholarship-granting organization for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ) students, has helped young people complete four-year and advanced degree programs. With support from longtime partner Wells Fargo, Point has launched a pilot program to help students in their final year at a community college achieve their goal of transferring to a four-year college or university.
Students accepted into Point’s new Community College Program will receive up to a $3,700 tuition scholarship, professional coaching to apply to four-year institutions, opportunities to network with the Point community and to attend local leadership conferences. According to the Point Foundation website, 82 percent of the scholarship recipients currently receive tuition aid; 50 percent are female and/or trans-identified; 100 percent identify with a racial or ethnic group other than white.
“Wells Fargo is proud to support the Point Foundation in making access to four-year colleges and universities possible for talented students who may have experienced obstacles in their education as a result of their sexual identities,” said Georgette “GiGi” Dixon, Wells Fargo’s Director of Strategic Partnerships. “Together with the Point Foundation, we seek to promote diversity and inclusion while helping promising LGBTQ students obtain their higher education goals.”
“We know from the experience of many of our scholarships applicants that community college was a crucial bridge for them between high school and advancing to a four-year degree,” said Jorge Valencia, Executive Director and Chief Executive Officer of Point Foundation. “We are grateful that Wells Fargo shares Point’s commitment to expand access to higher education and is helping us reach LGBTQ students in need.”
With the support of corporations such as Wells Fargo, Point organizes Leadership Education and Affinities Development (LEAD) consortiums around the country. Point Scholars and Alumni, along with invited high school students, join board members and mentors for skills-building and professional development workshops.