November 5, 2021

Student Freedom Initiative Selects Bowie State University in Second Cohort of Schools

Steve and Marjorie Harvey Foundation also Partners with SFI

Student Freedom Initiative Selects Bowie State University in Second Cohort of Schools


MEDIA CONTACT: Cassandra Robinson,, 301-860-4336

(BOWIE, Md.) – Bowie State University is one of 20 Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) selected in the second cohort of institutions to participate in the Student Freedom Initiative (SFI) which provides a catalyst to assist students to achieve personal and professional freedom by increasing their potential for social and economic mobility.

Beginning in fall 2022, students at participating institutions will benefit from the four-pronged holistic programs of the Student Freedom Initiative including 1) income contingent alternative to Parent Plus and private loans, 2) internships, 3) tutoring, mentoring/support services and 4) targeted HBCU institutional capacity building.

“Partnering with the Student Freedom Initiative will advance our efforts at Bowie State University to provide critical resources for students to eliminate financial obstacles and achieve their educational and life goals,” said BSU President Aminta H. Breaux.

In addition to Bowie State, SFI announced the selected institutions to include: Alabama A&M University, Benedict College, Bennett College,  Dillard University, Fisk University, Interdenominational Theological Center, Jackson State University, Jarvis Christian College, Lemoyne-Owen College, Miles College, Morris College, Norfolk State University, Shaw University, Texas College, Texas Southern University, University of Maryland Eastern Shore, University of the Virgin Islands, Virginia Union University, and Voorhees College.

The addition of these institutions will increase the number of participating states in the Student Freedom Initiative program from eight to 12 and more than triple the number of participating schools from 9 to 29, impacting nearly 80,500 students. The addition of 20 institutions continues the program’s momentum and goal of onboarding up to 20 additional minority-serving institutions (MSIs) per year into one of the four components of the program.

The Student Freedom Initiative also announced a strategic partnership with the Steve and Marjorie Harvey Foundation, an organization dedicated to cultivating the next generation of responsible leaders by providing educational enrichment, mentoring, life transformation skills, and global service initiatives. Together, the Student Freedom Initiative and the Steve and Marjorie Harvey Foundation will continue to elevate the excellence of students attending MSIs, advocate for their upward economic and social mobility, seek partners committed to closure of the wealth gap, and provide a platform to advance the entire ecosystem.

“We are pleased to welcome the Steve and Marjorie Harvey Foundation in support of our critical mission to advance the narrative surrounding minority-serving institutions and the students they support. Together, we look forward to sharing and promoting the extraordinary talent of our students in a competitive global economy,” said Founder Robert F. Smith in the SFI announcement.

“Access to quality, affordable higher education is one of the most important steps our community can take towards achieving racial equity,” added Steve Harvey. “Our foundation is proud to support the work of Robert F. Smith and the Student Freedom Initiative to highlight the outstanding job done by HBCUs and other MSIs to elevate the social and economic mobility of our students to achieve their greatest potential  this enduring, scalable solution.”

“Over the last year and a half, we’ve made steady progress building out a scalable infrastructure and establishing strategic partnerships to increase the resilience of our institutions and the global competitiveness of our students. Now in our second year, we look forward to continuing to grow the number of participating institutions in our program to other MSIs and to serve more students,” said Mark Brown, executive director of the Student Freedom Initiative. “We are also grateful to the Steve and Marjorie Harvey Foundation for their leadership and for joining us on this journey.”


About Bowie State University
Bowie State University (BSU) is an important higher education access portal for qualified persons from diverse academic and socioeconomic backgrounds, seeking a high-quality and affordable public comprehensive university. The university places special emphasis on the science, technology, cybersecurity, teacher education, business, and nursing disciplines within the context of a liberal arts education. For more information about BSU, visit

About Student Freedom Initiative
A single purpose nonprofit organization, Student Freedom Initiative provides a catalyst for freedom in professional and life choices for students attending Minority Serving Institutions (“MSIs”) by increasing their social and economic mobility using a student centric, evidence based, holistic, and collaborative approach. Initially focused on Historically Black Colleges and Universities, Student Freedom Initiative enables mobility through four transformational components: (1) Income Contingent Alternative to Parent Plus and Private Loans, (2) Internships, (3) Tutoring/Mentorships/Other Services, and (4) Targeted HBCU Capacity Building. Student Freedom Initiative collaborates with community-based organizations, businesses, and governmental entities through public-private partnerships to make sustainable, systemic changes to support the entire HBCU ecosystem. Through its strategic partnership with the program, Student Freedom Initiative provides Fortune 500 companies access to qualified, diverse, entry-level talent from participating institutions.