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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


    Scholarship receives $2 million

    Although tuition is on the rise and the economic climate is less than desirable, the Helios Education Foundation is working to ensure that students in need are still able to attend the UA.

    The Helios Education Foundation recently donated $2 million to the Arizona Assurance scholarship fund to help sustain the program and create a partnership with the UA.

    “”We are very excited about forming this partnership with the university. We think this is a great program and certainly in the midst of the current economic climate, I think that we are pleased to know that we are helping to create more opportunities for more students to achieve a college education without the worrying about the financial burdens that come with it,”” Helios Education Foundation Senior Vice President Ian Smith said.

    The Helios Education Foundation is a result of the reorganization of a student loan corporation called Southwest Student Services Corporation, which was the eighth biggest student loan company in the United States, Smith said. Helios is the largest philanthropic organization in both Arizona and Florida and is committed to investing $20 million a year in the state university systems.

    After they have earned admission to the incoming UA freshman class, students qualify for the Arizona Assurance scholarship if their family income is less than $42,400 a year. These students must also qualify for a Pell Grant and are encouraged to get an on-campus job, earning $2,400 a year.

    “”This program is perfectly aligned with our mission here. It represents such a great opportunity to create opportunities for students in Arizona to achieve post-secondary education. The program itself has so many of the components that are important to us,”” Smith said.

    According to their Web site, the Arizona Assurance scholarship program’s goal is to make college accessible to Arizona students who otherwise could not afford it. Along with financial support they provide career counseling and a mentor program.

    “”Post-secondary education success is really one of the core missions that we have here at the foundation,”” Smith said. “”We are funding everything from early education programs to the transition years, and then post-secondary education success is really what this is all about.””

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