Minneapolis, MN — Wallin Education Partners and College Possible Minnesota announced today that they are providing college scholarships and joint coaching support to 134 low-income Twin Cities-based high school students. The scholarships will bridge the financial gap that these students must fill to attend college. This financial assistance is made possible through a partnership between the two non-profit organizations and other generous donors who support Wallin Education Partner’s programs. 104 of the 134 scholarships are thanks to the generosity of NorthStar Education Finance, Inc., a strong partner of both organizations.
Working closely with coaches at College Possible Minnesota, Wallin Education Partners selected academically promising high school students who needed additional financial assistance to achieve their dreams of attending college. Susan Basil King, Executive Director of Wallin Education Partners, said, “The success of this partnership is the result of the team at College Possible Minnesota, our donors and our staff working seamlessly together to recruit, guide and steward these outstanding students toward a four-year college,” she added. “Beginning next fall, and for the following four years, we will work with each College Possible scholar to ensure that they graduate”.
Students were chosen to receive the scholarship based on academic merit and financial need. “The most significant factor in college success is family income. Steady progress has been made in the last 40 years helping low-income students get into college, but only about 19 percent from this population will complete a degree,” said King. Scholarships from Wallin Education Partners, most of which are awarded to first-generation college students, are administered through a program tailored to this population that includes comprehensive advising, plus financial aid that leverages other funding. As a result, at least 90 percent of Wallin scholars graduate, making the program one of the most effective in the country.
“These scholarships add up to more than $2 million in financial aid for College Possible students,” said Sara Dziuk, Executive Director of College Possible Minnesota. “In addition to the financial aid awarded, both organizations make a significant investment in coaching and supporting the students through their college graduation,” she added. “This is amazing news and we are so excited for these students. College Possible coaches low-income students to and through college, so our partnership with Wallin Education Partners is a perfect fit.”
Derartu Ahmed is one of the College Possible scholars who received a scholarship in 2018. She recently graduated from Robbinsdale Cooper High School and plans to attend Lawrence University in Appleton, Wisconsin this fall. When Ahmed learned she had won the scholarship, the first thing she did was call her College Possible coach Lucy Pipkin to celebrate. “I called her at 10 o’clock at night, I was that excited!” said Ahmed. “I have a chance of not being in debt from college and that’s important to me. That’s huge.”
India Chand is another 2018 College Possible scholar from Kennedy High School in Bloomington, Minnesota. She is looking forward to the advising and coaching Wallin and College Possible provide to scholars throughout their college experience. “Not only am I getting a head start at paying for college, I’m getting a mentor and many other networking opportunities,” said Chand. Chand will be attending Augsburg University in Minneapolis, where she plans to pursue a degree in urban studies and architecture.