There are so many great causes worthy of your help. So why join the Give Something Back program for young students facing economic adversity? It is a powerful opportunity to change the world for generations to come.

The Growing Education Gap

On average, college graduates earn 56% more than high school graduates. This is the largest gap since 1973 and it has dire consequences for those whose education is cut short. Those with only a high school diploma, or less, tend to face bleak prospects. They are:

  • Less likely to have a job.
  • More likely to be whipsawed by economic downturns.
  • Less likely to be married.
  • Less likely to own a home.
  • Less likely to contribute to a retirement plan.

It is a Cycle that is Difficult to Break.

  • Strikingly, up to 40% of low-income students who are accepted into college never attend a single class. They give up in the face of money woes, lack of guidance and a feeling that they don’t qualify as ‘college material.’
  • Even with financial aid, the average cost of college for a low-income family is 84% of total household earnings.
  • People from affluent families are four times more likely to graduate from college than those from low-income families.

The Stakes are Life Changing.

In the last two decades alone, 36 million Americans have started college, but never graduated, often because they lack money. Ending up with college debt, but no diploma, can be debilitating.

Defaulting on a student loan is worse than bankruptcy. College debt cannot be discharged in court. And it’s not just the huge debt that is dangerous. Those with debt of $5,000 or less are six times more likely to default on loans than those who owe over $40,000. This seeming paradox is explained by the diminished career and income possibilities for those without a degree.

That’s why we designed our model to get at-risk students to and through college, in four years, debt-free. We do this by partnering with colleges and universities so that when we give a large, upfront donation, the school reserves spots for Give Back scholars at a deeply discounted rate.

The college is effectively covering any gap between financial aid and the costs for tuition, fees, room and board. This prepaid model means that we do not make promises we can’t keep, despite rising costs of college and potential future economic downturns. When a scholar is chosen, the money is already in the bank.

What Difference Does It Make?

Since 2003, Give Back has prepaid 1,000 scholarships and is on track to triple that number. Our alumni have made the most of this opportunity:

  • 90% 4-year college graduation rate
  • 100% employment rate
  • 50% have carried on the spirit of giving back by donating or becoming mentors for the program

Give Back scholars embody a level of grit, talent and life experiences that will drive them to be the future leaders of their families, student bodies, professions and communities after graduation. We have alumni that are actively working to cure people from cancer, end cycles of domestic abuse, teach and inspire kids, represent people in court, and so much more. This is a cause that helps so many other causes.



“We make a living by what we get. We make a life by what we give.”

-Winston Churchill


Sources: The Philadelphia Inquirer | American Council on Education | New York State Dept. of Labor | | Pew Research Center | The Wall Street Journal | Working Class to College: The Promise and Peril Facing Blue-Collar America | U.S. Department of Education | The Urban Institute