The Truist Foundation is providing a $2.5 million grant to Georgia State University’s National Institute for Student Success (NISS) to support four historically Black colleges and universities (HBCUs).

The grant will help NISS to build new online systems to support Morgan State University, North Carolina A&T State University, North Carolina Central University, and Tennessee State University. They will be the first cohort of HBCUs for the funding.

The grant is aimed to help the schools improve graduation rates among underserved students and strengthen financial literacy. The grant also will fund the development of coaching services, allowing the schools to learn about innovative, evidence-based initiatives to help their students succeed.

The Georgia State’s NISS offers guidance to colleges and universities on ways to identify and overcome institutional barriers to equity and college completion. To do that, it supports these universities by employing success-systems and data-driven intervention.

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 “Financial barriers are the primary reason students drop out or stop at universities and a major cause of equity gaps nationally,” Dr. Timothy Renick, the NISS’s founding executive director, said in a news release.  “Truist has long been committed to supporting Georgia State and other universities as we work to address these issues proactively.  This new gift will further this important work, allowing us to collaborate closely with a cohort of HBCUs to ensure their students receive the most effective, data-informed support.”

By connecting members of Georgia State’s student success operation with peers from across the U.S. and globally, the NISS claims it incubates, tests, and disseminates the next generation of innovations in student success. Georgia State is known for implementing scalable models for student success. The university reports it has more than doubled its graduation rates for Black, Hispanic, first-generation, and low-income students.

“Our support of Georgia State’s student success programs is a key part of the work at Truist Foundation to help build career pathways to economic mobility,” said Jenna Kelly, Georgia regional president at Truist, speaking on behalf of Truist Foundation. “We believe in empowering the next generation of workforce leaders with the education, resources and skills they need to succeed, and Georgia State has always been ahead of the pack. We’re proud to continue our partnership to uplift the National Institute for Student Success.”

Over the next 10 years, the NISS said it wants to help at least 100 colleges and universities create clear and supportive pathways to success for their students to replicate the improvements in graduation rates seen at Georgia State.

Black Enterprise