A single purpose nonprofit organization, Student Freedom Initiative, the organization strives to be a catalyst for freedom in professional and life choices for students attending Minority Serving Institutions (MSIs). They hope to do this by increasing their social and economic mobility using a student-centric, evidence-based, holistic, and collaborative approach. In simpler terms, Student Freedom Initiative hopes to provide students with the academic skills and career opportunities they need to succeed after graduation, including:
Student Freedom Initiative also offers an income-contingent funding alternative to eligible students at participating schools, including Dillard University.
All Dillard University students can take advantage of Student Freedom Initiative’s academic and career support programs, from tutoring and mentoring opportunities to paid internships facilitated through the internX platform, which helps place students at leading companies as interns.
In addition, Student Freedom Initiative offers targeted capacity-building programs to support our institution’s needs. Details on participation in these programs will be provided on this page as the program rolls out in the coming months.
The income contingent alternative to high interest fixed payment loans component of Student Freedom Initiative’s program is limited at this time to rising junior and senior students in approved STEM majors. This financial program is called Student Freedom Agreement. The administration at Dillard University, has approved the following majors for participation in the initiative’s Student Freedom Agreement component:
It’s also important to note that juniors and seniors majoring in any of the approved STEM programs must also meet specific eligibility criteria to receive funding under a Student Freedom Agreement (SFA). The current eligibility criteria includes:
To learn more about Student Freedom Initiative and the Student Freedom Agreement, please contact Dillard’s Office of Financial Aid, review the eligibility page on the Student Freedom Initiative’s website or check this page for future updates.
The Student Freedom Agreement is an income-contingent funding alternative available to rising junior and senior students in approved STEM majors at participating schools.
Additional Student Freedom Agreement details:
It’s important to note that if you are interested in participating in this program, you should read all Student Freedom Agreement related documents carefully, and review materials with your financial aid counselor and other qualified professionals before entering into a SFA. While the SFA is meant to support students at HBCUs avoid high-interest loans to pay for their education, it may not be the right choice for all eligible students.
If a student has applied for the Student Freedom Agreement and would like status updates on their Student Freedom Agreement application, students should contact customer support at 833.531.1310 or email@example.com for status updates on their Student Freedom Agreement application. Students can also contact their Financial Aid Office with additional questions.
To learn more about the Student Freedom Agreement, applying for the program and entering into an Agreement, visit the Student Freedom Initiative website.
Robert F. Smith, entrepreneur, philanthropist and Founder, Chairman and CEO of global investment firm Vista Equity Partners, is the visionary behind Student Freedom Initiative. After Smith’s newsworthy gift of nearly $34 million to pay off the undergraduate student loans of the Morehouse College class of 2019, Smith labored to create more opportunities for lasting, generational change when it came to lessening student debt for students of color. The result of several years of careful study and collaboration was Student Freedom Initiative. Initially endowed with a $50 million donation by Fund II Foundation, of which Smith is also founding director and President, Smith later matched the amount with his own $50 personal gift, and the Initiative was born.
While Smith was named Chairman of Student Freedom Initiative, a growing number of organizations have offered their support. Some groups will provide financial assistance, while others are offering their expertise by way of training or growing university capacity-building programs.