U.S. Department of Education to Join United Negro College Fund for Launch of UNCF "Better Futures" Campaign

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U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan; Michael L. Lomax, United Negro College Fund (UNCF) CEO and president; and Vernon Jordan, former UNCF executive director; will co-host an event to launch a new public service advertising (PSA) campaign at 1 p.m. Friday, June 14, at the U.S. Department of Education, 400 Maryland Ave., S.W., Washington, D.C. Duncan, Lomax and Jordan will discuss how investing in higher education can create better futures for all Americans. Higher education leaders and advocates will attend the event, including representatives of foundations and philanthropies that support college readiness and college completion.

"Better Futures" builds on the iconic "A Mind is a Terrible Thing to Waste" campaign, launched in 1972 by UNCF's then-executive director Jordan and created in partnership with the Ad Council and the ad agency Y&R. Since its founding in 1944, UNCF has raised more than $3.6 billion to help more than 400,000 students receive college degrees. The organization plays a vital role in enabling more than 60,000 students a year to attend college.

The Obama administration has taken major steps to make college more affordable for students and families. Over the last four years, significant federal investments in student financial aid, including Pell grants, campus-based aid and loans, and higher education tax credits, have helped to keep college affordable for America's students and families. In addition, the President has proposed a "First in the World Fund" ($260 million) and "Campus-Based Aid Programs" ($10 billion) to further lessen the burden of college costs on students.