Bank Of America Gives Baruch College $1M For Degree Completion And Career Readiness

November 20, 2020

Baruch College and Bank of America today announced a new $1 million graduation and employment initiative partnership to help Black and Hispanic-Latino students.

For students that successfully complete the education and career development necessary to enter the professional workforce and embark on a path to success in New York City. This initiative builds on Bank of America’s ongoing work in New York City to address the underlying issues facing individuals and communities of color who have been disproportionately impacted by the current health crisis.

“At Bank of America, we’re committed to helping advance racial equality and economic opportunity by supporting access to quality education, skills-building, and competitive work experience,” said Anne Walker, New York City market president for Bank of America. “Our partnership with Baruch College will equip students and their families with the tools for a rewarding college experience and a successful post-graduate career. We look forward to the long-term positive impact this investment will have on communities of color across New York City.”

Since 2015, Bank of America has invested more than $6.7 million in workforce development and education initiatives in New York City through grants to nonprofits that connect individuals to skills and employment. The new  initiative with Baruch College is part of the bank’s recent $1 billion, four-year commitment to advance racial equality and economic opportunity, and its $25 million commitment to enhance up-skilling and reskilling for Black and Hispanic-Latino individuals.

“The partnership between Bank of America and Baruch College will have a life-changing impact on the academic, professional, and personal success of our students,” said S. David Wu, PhD, president of Baruch College, The City University of New York. “Baruch has a long legacy of leading innovation and social change—not only has it been a catalyst for the social mobility of its diverse population, but it has achieved academic excellence at the highest level.  We are grateful to Bank of America for this generous gift, and together, we exercise our commitment to racial equality and economic opportunity. We look forward to creating an ever more robust and concentrated focus on expanding career and professional leadership opportunities for Black and Hispanic students, thereby elevating opportunities for all of our students.”

Baruch College is the first higher education institution in the Northeast selected by Bank of America to be part of the $25 million nationwide initiative, which includes partnerships with nearly two dozen higher education institutions throughout the country, including community colleges that serve predominantly Black and Hispanic-Latino students, public historically Black colleges and universities (HBCUs) and public Hispanic-serving institutions (HSIs). Bank of America is also partnering with and providing funding to the Aspen Institute to convene the participating higher education institutions for technical and programmatic assistance and to share best practices.

Bank of America and Baruch College’s partnership comes at a time when the national graduation and completion rates for underrepresented minority students within six years of college enrollment are particularly low—28.8 percent for Black students and 37.1 percent for Hispanic-Latino students.

While Baruch’s six-year graduation rates are well above the national average—just under 57 percent for Black students and just over 60 percent for Hispanic-Latino students for the past five years—they still do not match the College’s overall six-year graduation rate of 69.9 percent. Through Bank of America’s support, Baruch College anticipates further increasing the retention and graduation rates of Black and Hispanic-Latino students. Additionally, professional workforce preparation and training efforts will serve as a pipeline to competitive employment positions post-graduation.

With support from Bank of America, Baruch College will integrate and expand existing programs that support Black and Hispanic-Latino students’ academic success from matriculation to post-graduation. This large, new investment will provide intense programming support for service and experiential learning opportunities, culturally responsive counseling services, relationship-building efforts with faculty, and a focus on career success beyond Baruch with an emphasis on establishing mentoring and networking relationships with its New York City-based and global web of alumni.

Bank of America’s support will also scale up Baruch’s Rising Starr Sophomore Program in the Starr Career Development Center, which will help students gain a head start in their career development and help counter the trend of greater attrition among Black and Hispanic-Latino students in the second and third years.

Additionally, family programming will be made available in English and Spanish to cultivate support systems for students that expand beyond the academic institution. Guided family support will begin at recruitment and follow the students and families through graduation to help ensure a successful career future. Baruch’s program will be implanted through its divisions of Enrollment Management & Strategic Academic Initiatives and Student Affairs.

Dan Black, Global Talent Attraction and Acquisition Leader at EY, one of the companies engaged in the program, said:  “Hiring the best talent means recruiting people that have a wide variety of backgrounds, skill sets and experiences.  Initiatives like this one – that aim to connect companies to a broader, more diverse array of job-seekers — result in better opportunities for candidates and employers alike.   We look forward to continuing our long-standing relationship with Baruch College in light of this exciting development.”

Focused on advancing economic mobility, Bank of America also recently announced:

At Bank of America, we’re guided by a common purpose to help make financial lives better, through the power of every connection. We’re delivering on this through responsible growth with a focus on our environmental, social and governance (ESG) leadership. ESG is embedded across our eight lines of business and reflects how we help fuel the global economy, build trust and credibility, and represent a company that people want to work for, invest in and do business with. It’s demonstrated in the inclusive and supportive workplace we create for our employees, the responsible products and services we offer our clients, and the impact we make around the world in helping local economies thrive. An important part of this work is forming strong partnerships with nonprofits and advocacy groups, such as community, consumer and environmental organizations, to bring together our collective networks and expertise to achieve greater impact. Learn more at, and connect with us on Twitter (@BofA_News).

For more Bank of America news, including dividend announcements and other important information, visit the Bank of America newsroom and register for email alerts.

Baruch College provides students with the skills, knowledge, and perspectives to pursue their aspirations in today’s global environment. Part of The City University of New York (CUNY), Baruch is also listed among the nation’s top public colleges for academic excellence, affordability, student success, and value. Its three schools educate more than 19,500 students who represent one of the most diverse college campuses in the country. Strong career and support services drive Baruch’s national recognition as an engine for social and economic mobility. Through executive education, continuing studies, international partnerships, public events, and arts programming, Baruch stands out as an intellectual and cultural resource for New York City and the world.

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