St. Louis Graduates is a coalition of educators, service providers, business people and philanthropic leaders. Its mission is to help first-generation and low-income high school students prepare for college, apply and be accepted for scholarships and academic programs, and complete a post-secondary degree.
“The Foundation’s purpose is making our community a better place to live through the investment of charitable dollars. St. Louis Graduates addresses one of those very basic foundational issues – education - that move the region forward,” said Amy Basore Murphy, director of scholarships & donor services with the Greater Saint Louis Community Foundation (GSTLCF) and a member of the St. Louis Graduates Steering Committee.
GSTLCF has joined The Scholarship Foundation of St. Louis, the Deaconess Foundation, and Civic Progress St. Louis to support the infrastructure of St. Louis Graduates with grants of $25,000 per year for three years to improve degree completion in the St. Louis region. Among the 35 largest metro areas in the US, St. Louis ranks 12th for high school graduates, but 24th for those with baccalaureate degrees.
Because affordability is a barrier to college attainment for students from low-income families, Ms. Murphy and Scholarship Foundation Executive Director Faith Sandler collaborated to create a place where students from the region can find and apply for many private scholarship opportunities through one common application, Scholarship Central. Private scholarships improve the chances a student with financial need will graduate, demonstrated by 85% success rate of students receiving Community Foundation need-based awards.