[uAspire] Recognized by The Association of Independent Colleges and Univerisities of Massachusetts

By: Chris Loney | Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Boston – December 9, 2009 – [uAspire] is proud to announce that it has received this year’s Champion of ACCESS award from the Association of Independent Colleges and Universities in Massachusetts (AICUM) at their recent Annual Dinner for its success in increasing college access for low-income students in Boston and Springfield.

“Applying for financial aid can be an intimidating ordeal for students as well as parents. [uAspire] guides young people in Boston and Springfield through the financial aid process, and helps to ensure thousands of students that a college education is within their reach,” commented AICUM President Richard Doherty on why his organization chose to recognize the nonprofit with such an honor. “AICUM member schools this year alone awarded more than $400 million in financial aid to needy Massachusetts students, and we are proud to honor ACCESS as our partner is this effort.”

This recognition comes during a time of great growth at [uAspire]. After a year in which [uAspire] secured more than $45 million in financial aid for 2,329 Boston students, it has expanded services to 3 new Boston charter high schools this fall, while launching a new four year High School Advising Program that will begin advising students and their parents about how to plan for and afford a college education as early as the 9th grade.

In addition, at the request of city and school leaders, this fall, [uAspire] expanded beyond Boston for the first time when it brought its financial aid advising and scholarship programs to the city of Springfield. [uAspire] has already awarded its first round of scholarship to 189 Springfield students from the class of 2009, totaling more than $115,000.

“During a time when more families’ are struggling with the cost of college, AICUM’s advocacy for need based financial aid shows its commitment to making a college education affordable to young people from all economic backgrounds. To be honored and recognized by an organization that brings together 60 of Massachusetts’ private colleges and universities that believe in, as well as advocate for, the work we do is truly inspiring and validating. We here at [uAspire] are thrilled by this recognition and look forward to future collaborations with AICUM,” said [uAspire] Executive Director Bob Giannino-Racine.

AICUM’s annual dinner celebrates the independent higher education sector and its significant and collective contributions made to the economy, education and the culture of the Commonwealth. At the dinner, AICUM recognizes the accomplishments of significant individuals and organizations in the field of college access and success. [uAspire] was honored to join Congressman Richard Neal, subcommittee chair on the powerful House Ways and Means Committee, as this year’s featured guests at AICUM’s 5th Annual Dinner held on Monday, December 7th at the Seaport Hotel.

L to R: uAspire Executive Director Bob Giannino-Racine, Congressman Richard Neal and Freshman at Wheelock College and uAspire Scholar Jessenia Landrum


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