ON A POSITIVE NOTE--Fund Surpasses $142M in Total Scholarships Awarded to More Than 3,300 9/11 Children

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NEW YORK -- Scholarship America is pleased to announce its Families of Freedom Scholarship Fund®—the largest private scholarship fund for 9/11 families—has surpassed $142 million in total scholarships awarded to 3,326 students since September 11, 2001. That figure includes $12,254,533 in needs-based scholarships to support 829 students during the 2016-17 academic year.

"I'm so grateful to the Families of Freedom Scholarship Fund because it helped me on a personal level become who I am today," said Nick Berger. In 2015, Nick graduated from Villanova Business School with a degree in Marketing and a minor in Accounting. He now works with AON, where his father worked when he was tragically lost on 9/11. His brother, Alex, will graduate from Villanova this May, and the youngest Berger, Chris, will follow his brothers' lead and begin his first semester at Villanova in the fall. All three received financial assistance though the Families of Freedom Scholarship fund.

Established within one week of the attacks on September 11, 2001, the Families of Freedom Scholarship Fund is unprecedented in its scope. It will ultimately provide hundreds of millions of dollars in postsecondary education assistance to an entire generation of financially needy dependents of those killed or permanently disabled in the 9/11 attacks and their aftermath. The Fund will continue to provide education assistance through the year 2030.

"The Families of Freedom Scholarship Fund is a tribute to all who were lost on that tragic day 16 years ago.  Today, over 3,000 students have triumphed and graduated with the assistance of our Fund," said Rhianna Quinn Roddy, Executive Director.  "The thousands of caring individuals and corporations who donated to this Fund wanted these young people to know they care very deeply about their futures – they wanted them to know the world had their backs and wanted to support them and their educational aspirations. We are extremely grateful for their generous support as we continue to help more and more family members to achieve success in life."

The creation of the Families of Freedom Scholarship Fund sparked incredible generosity nationwide. With President Bill Clinton and U.S. Senator Bob Dole serving as campaign co-chairs, donations arrived from more than 20,000 corporations, foundations, educational institutions, grassroots organizations, and individuals, raising more than $100 million. Earlier this year, President Clinton and Senator Dole wrote a letter to the fund's original corporate donors asking them to consider contributing once again. This letter launched a fund-raising campaign designed to further support the Families of Freedom Scholarship Fund and ensure that the thousands of remaining students will receive the same level of funding the original award recipients received. While the Fund has performed exceptionally, the increase in the number of illnesses in Ground Zero first responders has increased demand.

For information about the Families of Freedom Scholarship Fund® and how to donate, please go to www.familiesoffreedom.org or call 877-862-0136.

The Families of Freedom Scholarship Fund® is administered without charge by Scholarship America®, the nation's largest non-profit, private sector scholarship and educational support organization. Scholarship America will continue to steward the Fund until 2030 when the last of the September 11 children will have completed college.

"The Families of Freedom Scholarship Fund holds special meaning for us," said Robert C. Ballard, President and CEO of Scholarship America. "We will continue to support the families of those who lost their lives or were permanently disabled by the attacks on September 11, 2001. Everyone affected that day deserves the opportunities a scholarship can give, and we are committed to the continuation of that mission."

SOURCE Scholarship America

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