Brookfield, Wis., January 17, 2011 - Fiserv, Inc. (NASDAQ: FISV), the leading global provider of financial services technology solutions, today announced that its ACCEL/Exchange® Network and Education Exchange college grant program have expanded their eligibility rules to include students applying to two-year institutions. Previously, only students applying to four-year institutions were eligible. The free program awards four $5,000 grants and 30 $1,000 grants each year. Since its inception in 1994, the program has awarded nearly $1 million to help eligible students fund their college educations.
"In this economy, with rising tuitions and shrinking wallets, it has never been more important to help our financial institution members give back to the communities they serve," said Michael Kelly, general manager, ACCEL/Exchange Network, Fiserv. "The program is free to ACCEL/Exchange members since the Network assumes the cost of the grants. We also provide free marketing support so members can promote the program in their branches and online. Our participating members appreciate the added value of the program, which is unique among leading debit payment networks, and may also help members comply with the Community Reinvestment Act."
The program has become so popular with members that ACCEL/Exchange is making education the focal point of its printed 2011 calendar, with excerpts from past winners to emphasize the program's importance to the community. One student wrote, "Without scholarship patrons like you, there would be many students, like myself, unable to pursue their higher education goals. I promise I will work hard and strive to follow your example by giving back to others."
"It's inspiring to hear the positive attitudes, ideas and aspirations of the students who apply to the program," said Kelly. "We wanted to share some of their stories, as today's young people have marketplace challenges yet foretell such a bright future for all of us."
All graduating, college-bound high school seniors can apply from January until March 15th each year. To apply, students obtain an application at a participating ACCEL/Exchange member institution listed at http://www.accelexchange.com/cn_collegeGrantProgram.aspx Completed applications are mailed directly to ACCEL/Exchange for judging. A panel of college administrators selects the grant recipients based on exceptional scholastic achievement, extracurricular activities, qualities of character and leadership, essay responses and financial need. Judging takes place from March to June each year, with grant recipients announced each July.
"This is a critical time for all financial institutions to stay engaged with their communities," said Kelly. "Participating in Education Exchange is yet another way ACCEL/Exchange helps its members optimize their overall payments strategy as we invest in the future through education."
For more information about ACCEL/Exchange, please visit www.accelexchange.com.
Fiserv, Inc. (NASDAQ: FISV) is the leading global provider of information management and electronic commerce systems for the financial services industry, driving innovation that transforms experiences for financial institutions and their customers. Fiserv is ranked No. 1 on the FinTech 100 survey of top technology partners to the financial services industry. For more information, visit www.fiserv.com.
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