July 10, 2017 – Liberty Mutual Insurance has announced the launch of a new scholarship – the LEADA@Liberty Scholarship – designed to offset the cost of college for Massachusetts students who enroll in community college with the ultimate goal of completing a degree at a state university or University of Massachusetts campus. The scholarship will be awarded annually to four students of African-American descent who are enrolled in the Massachusetts Commonwealth Commitment program, with each student receiving $2,500 per year for the four years of his or her college career.
“Paying for college and the resulting student loan debt are obstacles that prevent many students from pursuing higher education, which reduces the number of skilled workers,” said Kevin Gayle, Finance Committee Chair of Liberty Mutual’s Employees of African Descent and Allies (LEADA@Liberty) employee resource group. “We see investing in students at the beginning of their college career as a way to create a path for future Liberty Mutual employees. In addition to providing financial support, we will work closely with the LEADA@Liberty scholars through mentoring and offer them internship opportunities in our Boston office. Our goal is to reach this untapped pool of talent and we see this scholarship as a win-win for community college students, Liberty Mutual Insurance and the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.”
The first of its kind in the nation, the Commonwealth Commitment is the Massachusetts Department of Higher Education’s innovative college affordability and completion plan that aims to help more Massachusetts students achieve the dream of a college career. The plan commits Massachusetts public colleges and universities to providing a series of financial incentives to students who begin their studies at one of 15 community colleges, earn an associate degree within two and a half years, and then transfer to a state university or University of Massachusetts campus to earn a baccalaureate degree. Liberty Mutual is the Commonwealth Commitment’s first private sector partner.
“We were deeply grateful to receive a call from LEADA@Liberty employees, asking how they could support underserved students who need support to earn their college degrees,” said Carlos E. Santiago, Massachusetts Commissioner of Higher Education. “I’m especially pleased that LEADA@Liberty members are offering mentoring and professional development opportunities in addition to scholarship support. Liberty is leading the way in showing how the private sector can help students avoid burdensome debt, graduate on time and launch meaningful careers.”
Administered by the United Negro College Fund (UNCF), the LEADA@Liberty scholarship is available to students of African descent attending community colleges in the metro Boston area. In addition to the scholarship, through the Commonwealth Commitment, students who attend college full-time and maintain a 3.0 GPA receive a freeze on tuition and fees, a 10% rebate at the end of each successfully completed semester, and a full MassTransfer tuition waiver in their third and fourth years at a university.