U.S. Education Department and Social Security Administration Award Four Grants to
Improve Retirement Security within Minority Low-Income Communities September 27, 2013.
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The U.S. Department of Education and the Social Security Administration today announced
the award of $466,603 to four Minority-Serving Institutions to conduct research in
the areas of retirement security, financial literacy, and financial decision-making
within minority and low-income communities.
The purpose of the program is twofold: to provide opportunities for graduate students
at institutions with high proportions of minority and low income students to conduct
rigorous research in these needed fields; and to address the financial literacy and
retirement planning needs within minority and low-income communities.
"Smart money management and sound financial planning are critical to our well-being
as individuals and as a nation," said U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan. "These
grants will help improve strategies to provide greater retirement security for minority
and low-income communities."
"Social Security recognizes the importance of retirement planning and is committed
to researching ways to strengthen financial literacy across the country," said Carolyn
W. Colvin, Acting Commissioner of Social Security. "Through these grants, we plan
to improve our understanding of how to best educate individuals in minority and low-income
communities and prepare them for a more secure financial future."
Grantees will use their funds to provide stipends to graduate students in various
social science disciplines who will be conducting the research as part of their studies.
The body of work developed by the students will be used in a variety of ways to help
the public, ranging from partnerships with organizations that provide outreach to
the community, presentations at conferences, and development of financial decision-making
tools that educate the public and facilitate change.
The grants announced today are being awarded under the Minorities and Retirement Security
Program, a new pilot discretionary program funded by the Social Security Administration.
The Education Department identified institutions with post-baccalaureate pre-doctoral
research programs that could conduct the research and will administer the new grant
program. Both agencies are members of the federal government's Financial Literacy
and Education Commission.
Current grantees in these four federal programs were eligible to apply for the grants:
Master's Degree Program at Historically Black Colleges and Universities Strengthening
Historically Black Graduate Institutions Master's Degree Program at Predominantly
Black Graduate Institutions Promoting Post secondary Opportunities for Hispanic Americans.
Note to Editors: List of grantees, with first year award amount and contact information
Florida A&M University, Tallahassee, $115,249 Dr. Shawnta Friday-Stroud, (850) 561-3565
Chicago State University, $113,206 Dr. Aref Hervani, (773) 995-3827
University of Houston-Downtown, $120,000 Dr. Sarah Singletary Walker, (713) 223-7953
Hampton University, $118,148 Dr. Ziette Hayes (757) 727-5166