USA Funds Awards Grant for Mississippi College-Planning Web Site

USA Funds® awards an $80,000 grant to develop a Web site to help Mississippi middle- and high-school students and their parents prepare for, apply to and pay for postsecondary-education programs.

The Web site will serve as a comprehensive clearinghouse of information specific to education on both a state and national level. Although middle-and high-school students and their parents are the primary target audience, the site also will offer information for school counselors, elementary-school students, college students and adult learners.

In conjunction with the Web site, the Mississippi Institutions of Higher Learning will distribute to eighth-grade students in the state binders containing information about the college-preparatory curriculum, university admissions, planning for a postsecondary education and financial aid. The binders and the Web site will complement and promote each other. (COMMENTARY: maybe they should have just created a mySpace account to get the word out—it would be FREE and they would have access to a majority of their target audience! In addition they could target their parents another way but encourage them to go to the mySpace website—this way they would actually see what their children are doing online.)

A recent research report, “Mississippi’s Mandate,” which was underwritten by USA Funds, disclosed that Mississippi could dramatically reduce social- welfare costs and significantly improve its economy and overall quality of life by enhancing access to higher education.

Headquartered in Indianapolis, USA Funds is a nonprofit corporation that works to enhance postsecondary-education preparedness, access and success by providing and supporting financial and other valued services. USA Funds annually guarantees education loans totaling $20.5 billion for students and parents throughout the nation and serves as the designated guarantor of federal education loans for eight states: Arizona, Hawaii and the Pacific Islands, Indiana, Kansas, Maryland, Mississippi, Nevada and Wyoming. USA Funds also invests $18 million annually in scholarships and outreach programs that advance its mission of support to higher education. (COMMENTARY: if we had more affordable education then parents/students wouldn’t have to take out loans to pay for something we SHOULD be able to provide free to every student who wants to attend or at least at an affordable cost.)

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