Helios Creates Endowed Scholarship Fund for University of South Florida to Benefit Underserved Populations

Posted on: February 12, 2008

Foundation Creates Endowed Scholarship Fund With $2 million Investment State Match Boosts Total to $4 million

TAMPA, Fla. — Helios Education Foundation today announced its $2 million gift to the University of South Florida, creating the Helios Education Foundation Endowed Scholarship Fund. The $2 million gift is eligible for a dollar-for-dollar match from the state of Florida, yielding an historic $4 million for the University’s scholarship programs for under-represented populations. These scholarships will go to qualified students, with strong consideration given to undergraduate students from low-income families and diverse ethnic backgrounds. The goal of the gift is to increase the number of students entering and completing college.

“Helios Education Foundation’s $2 million gift to USF is an acknowledgement of our commitment to creating new opportunities for success in postsecondary education,” said the Foundation’s Chairman Vince Roig. “The Tampa Bay area is our Florida home and we’re excited about building a long-term, meaningful partnership in this community that will give students the chance they need to succeed and help increase the number of university graduates each year.”

Once the funds have been matched, the university plans to fund new scholarships and provide incentives to encourage additional private support for scholarships. USF will use the funds to benefit students of diverse cultural and ethnic backgrounds, including Latino and African-American students, economically disadvantaged students and those majoring in the fields of science, technology, engineering and mathematics.

“This is an extraordinarily generous gift,” said USF President Judy Genshaft. “We are honored and grateful for this level of support from an organization that has distinguished itself as one of the preeminent donors to education in our state. And we are delighted to receive funding for those students who are in particular need of scholarships. I believe this gift recognizes our tougher entrance standards and high achievement of our students.”

Helios Education Foundation’s gift and match will make a powerful impact in addressing the nation’s need for trained scientists, engineers and technicians as well as the need to encourage enrollment and success in college for students from diverse backgrounds. Funding is available for Tampa Bay area students with a GPA of 3.0 or higher.

“It is very exciting to know that our most talented students who happen to need support are going to get it and we know this investment will be good for Florida and for Tampa Bay,” said Genshaft.

About Helios Education Foundation
Helios Education Foundation is the largest nonprofit organization serving Arizona and Florida focused solely on education. The Foundation, whose endowment is approaching $600 million, opened its Florida office in downtown Tampa in September 2007. Helios Education Foundation is dedicated to enriching the lives of individuals in Arizona and Florida by creating opportunities for success in postsecondary education. The Foundation’s community investments are made across three impact areas: Early Childhood Education, the Transition Years (grades 5-12) and Postsecondary Education. Since inception in 2004, Helios Education Foundation has invested nearly $42 million into education-related programs and initiatives in both states. For more information, visit the Foundation online at

About the University of South Florida
The University of South Florida is among the nation's top 63 public research universities and one of 39 community engaged public universities as designated by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching. It is one of Florida's top three research universities. USF was awarded more than $300 million in research contracts and grants last year. The University offers 219 degree programs at the undergraduate, graduate, specialist and doctoral levels, including the doctor of medicine. The University has a $1.8 billion annual budget, an annual economic impact of $3.2 billion, and serves more than 45,000 students on campuses in Tampa, St. Petersburg, Sarasota-Manatee and Lakeland. USF is a member of the Big East Athletic Conference.

Category: Postsecondary Completion

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