Press, Media and Donors
How many students have been helped by the Families of Freedom Fund?
As of November 2007, the fund distributed scholarships to 899 students totaling more than $23 million. Among students who demonstrated financial need, 95 percent of that need has been met through these scholarships; students who did not meet financial aid criteria have received $1,000 renewable honorariums from the Fund.
How much financial need does the fund meet for these students?
Because of greater than expected generosity, good investment returns, and other factors, the Fund is currently covering 95% of demonstrated financial need. When the Families of Freedom Fund was originally conceived, it was anticipated that the Fund would cover about 66% of student need. Each year the assumptions on which payout are based—the age of estimated students, their likelihood of attending school in New York (tuition free), the estimated amount of need, and the anticipated returns from investments, etc.—are reviewed and updated. For more information, a summary of actuarial information is located here.
Why hasn’t more of the Fund been distributed to 9/11 families?
The fund is being managed carefully to ensure that it meets its mission to provide postsecondary education assistance to an entire generation of financially needy dependents of those killed or permanently disabled in the 9/11 attacks and their aftermath. The fund helped 899 students through November 2007 with more than $23 million in assistance. But there are thousands more who were infants or toddlers in 2001 and are in grade school today. Between 2009 and 2020 these kids will seek post-secondary education opportunities at a rate of around 400 students per year. From 2018 to 2022 alone, scholarship needs for these students will total approximately $80 million.
Scholarship America is managing the fund so that it will be there both for students today, and for this entire generation of dependents of the 9/11 victims, through 2030.
Is there an appeals process for families who feel they should have received a larger scholarship from the Fund?
Yes. Families can contact Scholarship America at 1-800-537-4180 to submit appeals or find out more about the process. Scholarship America is managing the Families of Freedom Fund to support postsecondary education for an entire generation of students through 2030. Based on years of experience managing scholarship programs and a needs formula that ensures that we fund more families and meet greater financial need, Families of Freedom is committed to ensuring that the most students with the most need get the most benefit from the fund.
How much money does Scholarship America make to manage Families of Freedom?
Scholarship America's overall general administration costs are in the single digits, typically five percent or less of the fund’s distributions. This is considered quite low in a field where administrative costs are often 20 percent or more.
Scholarship America charges direct and indirect costs only, and makes no profit from the program. All contributions to the Families of Freedom Scholarship Fund support eligible students. Scholarship America recovers its costs from a small portion of the interest earned on the Fund.
What if there are funds left over?
Scholarship America firmly believes that all funds will be awarded to students and will adjust the percentage of need covered accordingly in order to distribute the entire amount through the year 2030. According to the Fund Declaration, as of Dec. 31, 2030, the Board of Directors of Scholarship America may redirect any excess assets of the Fund to support needy students through other postsecondary education scholarship programs of Scholarship America. Scholarship America only can redirect these assets on the good faith determination of at least two-thirds of the Board of Directors that the needs of the victims' dependents have been met, or can with reasonable certainty be met with less than all of the assets of the Fund. Please note that, according to the Fund Declaration, no funds donated to Families of Freedom can go into Scholarship America's general operating fund, only to financially needy students.
Scholarship America can voluntarily agree to restrict excess funds, if any, left in the main Families of Freedom Scholarship fund, to postsecondary education programs for 9/11 families, if consistent with Scholarship America's charitable purpose and approved by the Board. This restriction applies only to the Families of Freedom Scholarship Fund's sunset provision, and not to Designated Funds, which are governed by different gift agreements.
Where can I get more information?
For more information on eligibility, guidelines and fund management, please contact Scholarship America's Scholarship Management Services division at 877-862-0136 or email@example.com. Media members, please visit the Press Room or contact Janine Fugate at firstname.lastname@example.org."