For Immediate Release
January 18, 2023
Contact Information

Roy Betts
UNCF Communications

(BPRW) UNCF Receives its Largest Corporate Gift to Support Underserved Students

Fidelity Investments donates $190 million to provide access to education and facilitate economic mobility for African American/Black, Latinx American, Native American and Asian/Pacific Islander American students

(Black PR Wire) UNCF (United Negro College Fund) today announced it has received its largest philanthropic corporate gift in its 78-year history from Boston-based financial services leader Fidelity Investments to launch the Fidelity Scholars Program.

As the next step in its long-standing commitment to financial education and inclusion, Fidelity is donating $190 million to UNCF as part of its $250 million Invest in My Education (ME)℠  initiative. This new social impact program, built by Fidelity and its philanthropic partners, commits $250 million across the next five-years to provide access to education and facilitate economic mobility for up to 50,000 underrepresented African American/Black, Latinx American, Native American and Asian/Pacific Islander American students.

“This is an incredibly generous gift from Fidelity Investments,” said Dr. Michael L. Lomax, president and CEO, UNCF. “We are delighted to partner with a premier global financial services company to do this work. The Fidelity Scholars Program is exemplary, innovative and demonstrates the company’s commitment to provide equal educational opportunities for low-income and underrepresented students who do not have the advantages of other students.”

he program is consistent with UNCF’s mission as the nation’s largest private scholarship provider to students of color, administering an array of small and large scholarships that have helped more than 500,000 students to earn college degrees with the support of institutional philanthropic partners and individual donors.

“Fidelity’s extraordinary gift will encourage other corporate leaders to get involved and show their commitment for the education of bright, promising student scholars who simply need the financial resources and support services to achieve their college and career aspirations,” said UNCF Board Chairman Milton H. Jones, Jr.

The Fidelity Scholars Program features annually renewable, need-based, last-dollar scholarships with comprehensive wrap-around support services eligible students.

“The design of this program is specifically geared to the mighty-middle, students with 2.5 to 3.5 grade point averages, who are often overlooked for scholarship opportunities and need significant financial support,” noted Larry Griffith, UNCF’s senior vice president, programs and services. “This is not a transactional program, but a transformational program giving striving achievers a substantive scholarship and a comprehensive set of services based on research and best practices that UNCF has developed over the last 78 years.”

Student participants must pursue a bachelor’s or an associate degree at an accredited not-for-profit, four-year or two-year – college or university, (including minority serving institutions (MSIs)and historically black colleges and universities (HBCU)s, or a not-for-profit certificate program within the state of their residence.

“As a UNCF-HBCU president, I am confident that this program will have major impact on HBCUs and minority-serving institutions of higher education,” said George T. French, Jr., Ph.D., president of UNCF-member Clark Atlanta University and chair of UNCF’s Member Presidents. “The participating colleges and universities include HBCUs, state-funded, small private schools and community colleges that do the heavy lifting, but don’t often have the financial resources to support their students.”

In the fall of 2023, the Fidelity Scholars Program will launch for students in Massachusetts, Texas and North Carolina. It will ultimately include more than 2,500 talented students in areas where Fidelity has a significant presence, including New Jersey, New Mexico, Florida, Kentucky, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, Colorado and Utah.

“Fidelity Investments is providing an unparalleled opportunity for some of the most deserving, overlooked and vulnerable students of color that will enable them to graduate without college debt,” said Paulette Jackson, UNCF’s senior vice president, national development and operations.

Jackson and Griffith are the UNCF executives leading this program.

To learn more about eligibility criteria and the application process for the Fidelity Scholars Program, visit

In addition to the Fidelity Scholars Program, Fidelity’s Invest in My Education (ME)℠ initiative will also provide grants to help students overcome systemic barriers, including:

  • Retention and completion grant awards will be made to help students remain in college and not drop out because of unpaid tuition.
  • Ecosystem-building grants will be directed toward leading nonprofit organizations focused on improving graduating rates of students of color to ensure quality pathways to post-secondary education.


About UNCF

UNCF (United Negro College Fund) is the nation’s largest and most effective minority education organization. To serve youth, the community and the nation, UNCF supports students’ education and development through scholarships and other programs, supports and strengthens its 37 member colleges and universities, and advocates for the importance of minority education and college readiness. While totaling only 3% of all colleges and universities, UNCF institutions and other historically Black colleges and universities are highly effective, awarding 13% of bachelor’s degrees, 5% of master’s degrees, 10% of doctoral degrees and 24% of all STEM degrees earned by Black students in higher education. UNCF administers more than 400 programs, including scholarship, internship and fellowship, mentoring, summer enrichment, and curriculum and faculty development programs. Today, UNCF supports more than 60,000 students at over 1,100 colleges and universities across the country. Its logo features the UNCF torch of leadership in education and its widely recognized trademark, A mind is a terrible thing to waste.”® Learn more at or for continuous updates and news, follow UNCF on Twitter at @UNCF.

About Fidelity Investments

Fidelity’s mission is to inspire better futures and deliver better outcomes for the customers and businesses we serve. With assets under administration of $10.6 trillion, including discretionary assets of $4.0 trillion as of November 30, 2022, we focus on meeting the unique needs of a diverse set of customers. Privately held for over 75 years, Fidelity employs more than 60,000 associates who are focused on the long-term success of our customers. For more information about Fidelity Investments, visit