NORTHBROOK, Ill., Aug. 5, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Allstate and The Tom Joyner Foundation are working together to engage students, alumni and supporters of Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) across the country to raise scholarship funds as part of the fifth annual Allstate Quotes for Education program.
For every person who receives an insurance quote from a participating Allstate agent and mentions Quotes for Education between August 1 and Nov. 30, 2013, Allstate will donate $10, up to a total donation of $150,000. The funds will be donated to The Tom Joyner Foundation and earmarked for general scholarship funds to assist students attending HBCUs.
For the second year, participants in this program will also have a chance to vote for the HBCU of their choice to receive an additional $50,000 donation for scholarships. In 2012, Lincoln University of Missouri won the inaugural competition and distributed scholarship funds to 25 students.
"We know that cuts to student loan programs over the past few years are hurting students all over the country, but these cuts are particularly detrimental to students attending HBCUs," said Cheryl Harris, senior vice president at Allstate. "Allstate and The Tom Joyner Foundation are passionate about helping these students pursue their dreams as we continue to support programs like Quotes for Education."Over the past year, changes to federal student loan policies have made it more difficult for parents to obtain loans. According to a Washington Post analysis, the overall dollar volume of federal loans approved for parents in the 2012-13 school year fell 11 percent from the previous year. At HBCUs, where a greater percentage of students rely on parent loans, the volume fell 36 percent. This drop in funding translated to a loss of more than $150 million and forced an estimated 28,000 students to drop out of school due to lack of funds. "As soon as I heard about this scholarship I knew it was something I had to be a part of," said Aaron Marshall, a student at Lincoln University studying computer science. "This scholarship is an opportunity to work towards my goals and put me in a position to be successful in the future." When students have difficulty obtaining financing, a ripple effect extends to HBCUs due to a drop in enrollment and declining revenue. From the 2011-12 to 2012-13 school year, there was a 47 percent drop in the number of parents borrowing to support HBCU students, compared to a 19 percent drop nationally. This forces HBCUs to find other sources of financing for students or to slash their budgets, which has been reflected by the number of HBCUs facing financial difficulty over the past few years.