(Courtesy photo)

Students dedicated to making a positive difference in the world offer the greatest hope for the future, but for many their plans are threatened due to the unexpected financial gap posed by COVID-19 – sometimes prohibiting them from continuing and completing college. Wells Fargo wants to help close that gap by launching the WellsFargo Student Impact Scholarship. This new initiative will provide 200 students with $5,000 each – funds thatcould help them cover various costs for their instruction and potentially make the difference in being able to continue their education. Wells Fargo’s commitment will go beyond financial assistance to include an optionalmentorship opportunity to provide ongoing guidance for these students.

The program, which began accepting applications on Sept. 14, will be administered with long-standing partner APIA Scholars to students entering college and current college undergraduates for the Spring 2021 semester.The financial aid will be able to help cover costs of education like books, computers, materials to support distance learning, tuition, and housing.

A survey recent survey of leaders at various colleges and universities in July showed that 85 percent of collegesintended to maintain their tuition levels, with another twelve percent saying they would increase them, whileanother recent study showed that more than half (56%) of college students say they can no longer afford their tuition costs. These factors combined with the impacts of the pandemic to jobs overall creates a significant andunexpected financial gap for some students in continuing their educational journey.

“Despite the incredible disruptions the COVID-19 pandemic has created in their personal and academic lives,students remain some of the key drivers of change. Many are rising to the challenges we are all facing today, and theyare working hard to make a difference in their communities,” said John Rasmussen, leader of the Student Lendingat Wells Fargo. “These students are making a positive impact, but are faced with a negative impact from COVIDthat could limit their options. We want to help them remain on their academic paths and continue cultivating theirpotential to benefit those around them.”

Expanding Support

Through a collaboration with Wells Fargo’s scholarship partners, awardees will also have the opportunity to bematched with mentors from Wells Fargo that will offer practical expertise and guidance as they navigate academiclife and their post-graduation journey. These mentors will provide guidance to better position these students fortheir futures and continue the positive impact they make in their communities and beyond.

“It has been our long-held belief that a post-secondary education can be a valuable tool in building long-termfinancial health, not just for individuals, but for their communities,” said Mike Weinbach, head of ConsumerLending at Wells Fargo. “The value of this program stems not just from the funds being allocated, but from pairingstudents with Wells Fargo team members and information that will help them long after they have utilized thedirect financial support.”

Scholarship applications will be accepted from Sept. 14 to Oct. 2. Those interested in learning more abouteligibility can visit wellsfargo.com/impactscholarship. Learn more about how Wells Fargo is responding toCOIVD-19.