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"Paying for College" Bus Comes Inland

The Sallie Mae Fund's "Paying for College" Bus Tour to Visit Inland Empire March 3 and 4 to Educate Families About Planning and Paying for College

UC Riverside is sponsoring this leg of the 60-city national tour. College scholarships totaling $2,250 will be awarded locally.

(February 28, 2008)

The Sallie Mae bus tour will make stops in Riverside and San Bernardino to help students and their families find college scholarships.Enlarge

The Sallie Mae bus tour will make stops in Riverside and San Bernardino to help students and their families find college scholarships.

RIVERSIDE, Calif. ( -- The likelihood that a U.S. ninth-grader will end up enrolling in college four years later is less than 40 percent, with students from low-income and minority families even less likely to do so. In California, that number falls to 35 percent.

The Sallie Mae Fund's “Paying for College Bus Tour” is working to increase those numbers as it meets with families in the Inland region about how to plan and pay for higher education. This leg of the 60-city tour is co-sponsored by the University of California, Riverside and MTV Tr3s. It will bring workshops and resources on scholarships, grants and federal aid to four area high schools March 3 and 4.

All area residents are welcome to attend the free evening workshop on Tuesday, March 4 at Ramona High School, 7675 Magnolia Avenue, in Riverside. It starts at 6 p.m. with a free dinner and ends with a workshop and Q&A session that will be translated into Spanish. A $1,000 scholarship will be awarded to a student at the event.

Free workshops for students will also be held at San Bernardino High School, Fontana High School and Riverside’s Arlington High School. Scholarships will be awarded to someone in attendance at each event.

The workshop presenter is Arnold Hernandez, the bus tour’s national spokesperson, who grew up in a migrant farm worker family picking apples and onions in the fields of Texas and Idaho. Determined to pursue a better life through higher education, Hernandez graduated from St. Edward's University in Texas, and went on to work as a television journalist before joining The Sallie Mae Fund as the bus tour's national spokesperson.

Congressman Ken Calvert commended the effort. "Too many low-income and minority students believe that college is not an option because of the financial obligation," he said. "The Sallie Mae tour educates both students and parents about the many opportunities for financial aid that can make college a reality. I’m grateful for Sallie Mae’s outreach into the 44th Congressional District and I look forward to their continued efforts that will help our country produce the best minds of the 21st Century.”

Research from The Sallie Mae Fund shows that an "information divide" on knowledge of financial aid among low-income and minority populations creates barriers to higher education. Those who have the greatest need for information actually have the least access to it. Nearly three out of four young adults indicated that they would have gone to college if they had been aware of their financial aid options.

The Sallie Mae Fund is a nonprofit, charitable organization dedicated to opening doors to higher education. The next stop on the tour is in Los Angeles.

The University of California, Riverside ( is a doctoral research university, a living laboratory for groundbreaking exploration of issues critical to Inland Southern California, the state and communities around the world. Reflecting California's diverse culture, UCR's enrollment has exceeded 21,000 students. The campus opened a medical school in 2013 and has reached the heart of the Coachella Valley by way of the UCR Palm Desert Center. The campus has an annual statewide economic impact of more than $1 billion.

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