New UC Riverside students at Highlander Orientation
August 23, 2022

Student Freedom Initiative adds UCR to its next cohort of member institutions

Program continues to build on its collaborative, holistic approach to increase students’ economic and social mobility and expands to Hispanic and Asian American students

Author: UCR News
August 23, 2022

Today, Student Freedom Initiative announced the next round of Minority Serving Institutions, or MSIs, that will participate in its program. 

UC Riverside, ranked No. 1 in the U.S. for social mobility by U.S. News and World Report, was one of the universities selected. 

The addition of 14 institutions increases the number of states with schools participating in Student Freedom Initiative’s Income Contingent Alternative to Parent PLUS Component from 10 to 16 and the number of participating schools from 20 to 34. This addition provides Student Freedom Initiative with the potential to positively impact over 15,986 additional students supported by this component.

The selected institutions include the following MSIs: Alabama State University (AL), Albany State University (GA), Bennett College (NC), Central State University (OH), California State University, Long Beach (CA), City University of NY (CUNY) – Hunter College (NY), Morris College (SC), Lincoln University (PA), Saint Augustine’s University (NC), Stillman College (AL), University of California, Riverside (CA), Virginia State University (VA), West Virginia State University (WV), and Wilberforce University (OH). 

“We are honored and excited to participate in the next cohort of universities in the Student Freedom Initiative,” said Kim A. Wilcox, chancellor of UC Riverside. “As a leader in social mobility, UC Riverside continues to seek innovative approaches for increasing economic opportunity and resilience for our students. The core values of Student Freedom Initiative align well with our goals as a research university.”

“We are excited by the 149% increase in students who will benefit from Student Freedom Initiative’s programs. This is remarkable growth since we first started this journey with nine participating HBCUs,” said Robert F. Smith, founder and board chairman of Student Freedom Initiative, and founder, chairman and CEO of Vista Equity Partners. “Our team has remained true to our original vision to provide educational and professional opportunities to first-generation, low-income students. Thanks to the success of Student Freedom Initiative’s partnerships with HBCUs and to further drive diversification across industries, we made a decision that this cohort needed to include Hispanic Serving Institutions and Asian American and Native American Pacific Islander Serving Institutions to truly be an organization dedicated to inclusive growth.”

City University of NY (CUNY) Hunter College, UC Riverside, and California State University Long Beach (CSULB) expand Student Freedom Initiative’s programming to meet the needs of students at Hispanic Serving Institutions and Asian American and Native American Pacific Islander Serving Institutions.

With the addition of the 11 HBCUs, Student Freedom Initiative is now engaged with 48 HBCUs participating in one or more components of the program in a total of 18 states. This represents approximately 48% of all HBCUs.

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