Student Freedom Initiative (SFI)
The Student Freedom Initiative (SFI) is a new, multi-institution nonprofit fund intended to finance the educations of students at historically Black colleges and universities (HBCUs). In 2019, philanthropist Robert F. Smith made a contribution to Morehouse College that was used to pay off all the college loans for its graduating seniors. SFI addresses an expanded set of HBCU students, through income-contingent funding, in a nonprofit structure that directs proceeds back to the education of future students. The fund will launch in Fall, 2021 for a select number of institutions, eventually expanding to the entire HBCU community. Anchored by a seed investment from Smith, SFI is the collaboration of the Fund II Foundation, the United Negro College Fund (UNCF), Skadden Arps, the Education Finance Institute (EFI), and JFI, which provided program design, analytics, and research. Designed in collaboration with the HBCUs and their broader community, SFI prioritizes opportunity and equity for Black students.
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