In a focused effort to assist at-risk students in successfully completing their final years in college and earning their degree, HSBC–North America provided FIHE with grant support of $525,000 to fund a “gap” scholarship program which had very positive results.
The HSBC program is distinct in that it specifically targeted the most at-risk students – students with multiple factors that could deter success in college and their likelihood of graduation. The approach of this scholarship program is based on the successful CIC-FIHE First Opportunity Partners
initiative, which aims to improve access and success at private colleges and universities for first-generation, low-income, minority, and new American students.
The hypothesis of the program is that $5,000 in “gap funding," when added to other financial aid and combined with the encouragement provided by winning a national scholarship, would make a significant difference in retention and degree completion.