OPI and SAF Award $50,000 in Grants to Support College-Going

Tuesday, October 29, 2013
By Allyson Hagen

OPI and SAF Award $50,000 in Grants to Support College-Going and College-Readiness

Helena, MT — Today, Superintendent Denise Juneau and Kelly Cresswell, vice president of Foundation Activities at Student Assistance Foundation (SAF), announced the 12 Graduation Matters communities who will be receiving $50,000 in grants from the Graduation Matters Montana Student Assistance Foundation College Readiness Fund. Communities will receive grants ranging from $2,000 to $5,000.

"This strategic investment of funding is expected to bring in more than $3.9 million dollars in federal grant funding for Montana students and families for college,” said Superintendent Juneau. “It is exciting to see Graduation Matters communities setting high goals to reach out to and engage students and families as they prepare for life after high school."

Schools are setting their sights on increasing the number of students in their schools who complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) by participating in programs such as College Goal Montana. If schools are successful in meeting their goals, it is estimated Montana students and their families will receive $3.9 million in grant awards for their college education. The majority of grantee schools will also participate in College Application Week this November, an effort to increase the number of Montana students who apply for college.

Other activities that will be supported by the grant include: promotion of dual credit courses, providing college and career exploration and mentoring opportunities for middle school and high school students, and outreach to families to increase awareness of financial aid and college and certificate options.

"In addition to funding the important work that will be done through these grants, SAF outreach staff will be participating in many of the activities that will be carried out by our grantees,” said Kelly Cresswell. “Understandably, students are concerned about the cost of higher education. All of us working together will ensure that more students have access to college - socially and financially."

Communities Receiving Awards from the Graduation Matters Montana Student Assistance Foundation College Readiness Fund: Anaconda, Bozeman, Browning, Columbia Falls, Eureka, Great Falls, Hardin, Hot Springs, Libby, Livingston, Missoula and Thompson Falls.

More information about Graduation Matters Montana can be found at: http://graduationmatters.mt.gov.

About Student Assistance Foundation
Student Assistance Foundation is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit Montana corporation that provides students with knowledge and tools to pursue and fund their postsecondary education.  Funds generated by SAF are returned to Montanans in the form of education grants and public benefit programs - to date more than $27 million.  For more information, visit www.safmt.org or www.SmartAboutCollege.org.


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