Retailer’s foundation continues commitment to education; eases financial concerns for nearly 2,700 deserving high school students
BENTONVILLE, Ark., May 7, 2009 --- To offset rising tuition costs, the Walmart Foundation announced it will award more than $8 million in academic scholarships to help ease financial concerns for college-bound students. The 2,695 winners of the 2009 Sam Walton Community Scholarship will receive $3,000 to use toward tuition, fees, books, and on-campus room and board for the 2009-2010 academic year.
The scholarships awarded by the Walmart Foundation hold an added importance this year when higher education endowments are shrinking and states are cutting back on appropriations. Even more, colleges are dealing with decreased funding this year and requests for financial aid are expected to grow by 20 percent, according to the National Association of College and University Business Officers.
“Too often, this means funding for scholarships and other essential services may be cut at a time when students and families need them most,” said Kenneth Redd, director of Research and Policy, National Association of College and University Business Officers.“We know that college tuition costs are rising, scholarship opportunities are decreasing and Walmart’s commitment to education is more important than ever,” said Margaret McKenna, president of the Walmart Foundation. “In these tough economic times, every dollar counts when it comes to assuring that parents can afford to send their children to college. By providing deserving students with financial support from the Walmart Foundation, we are continuing to do our part to help assure that students can access the education they need for a better life.”
The recipients of the 2009 Sam Walton Community Scholarship are students across the country who have excellent academic scores, have shown financial need and are involved in their communities. This year’s scholarship recipients are from all 50 states, Washington, D.C. and Puerto Rico.
Walmart and the Walmart Foundation have a long history of supporting education initiatives and in 2008 contributed more than $67 million to support local schools and universities, student scholarships, educational organizations and more.
About Philanthropy at Walmart
Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. (NYSE: WMT) and the Walmart Foundation are proud to support the charitable causes that are important to customers and associates in their own neighborhoods. Through its philanthropic programs and partnerships, the Walmart Foundation funds initiatives focused on creating opportunities in education, workforce development, economic opportunity, environmental sustainability, and health and wellness. From February 1, 2008 through January 31, 2009, Walmart – and its domestic and international Foundations – gave more than $423 million in cash and in-kind gifts globally. To learn more, visit www.walmartfoundation.org.