A Colorado Springs-based nonprofit that awarded more than $ 2 million in scholarships last year will begin accepting grant applications on New Years Day.
The Sachs Foundation, established in 1931 by Henry Sachs, a resident of the Pikes Peak area, has helped more than 3,000 Black Coloradans afford college, according to foundation president Ben Ralston. The application period will run from January 1 to March 15.
Depending on how far they wish to reach from school, qualified applicants can receive up to $ 90,000 in scholarships.
âA student can get up to $ 50,000 in undergraduate scholarships, and if they wish to pursue graduate studies, they can apply for up to an additional $ 40,000 for their graduate studies,â said Ralston.
The nonprofit gives 40 to 50 scholarships each year and has awarded $ 2.44 million in education grants in the past year alone, the foundation president said.
The Sachs Foundation provides researchers with more than funding, according to scholarship director Terrell Brown. Through a mentoring program called Elevated, the nonprofit helps prepare young people for the sometimes daunting experience of applying for and attending college. About 60% of Sachs scholars are first generation college students.
“We want to help them see it all through to the end,” said Brown. âWe make sure they can afford to go to college, and that’s a big help for a struggling family, but a lot of these kids are first generation students and haven’t family members who know the university experience. We help them through the process.
The financial hurdles facing black students today are not as glaring as they were when the foundation was established 90 years ago, but young people of color still face a more difficult path to a college degree than their white counterparts, according to Ralston. For this reason, the mission of the Sachs Foundation is more necessary and relevant than ever, he said.
âThe truth about this might make some people uncomfortable, but wealth – or the lack of it – is a generational issue,â said Ralston. âThe same goes for educational opportunities. We are looking at data in Colorado and across the country, and the gap is still significant. “
Black students are more likely than their white peers to drop out of college for financial reasons, Ralston said, and those who graduate tend to take on more debt.
âWhat we do – provide educational opportunities for black students – is always important,â said Ralston. “That was our original founding mission, and it is still our mission today.”
An undergraduate candidate must be an African American high school student and a full-time Colorado resident with a GPA of 3.0 or higher. A graduate candidate must be a former Sachs scholar who has completed an undergraduate program within the past three years.
For more information, visit sachsfoundation.org.