A BOLD Approach to Student Retention
Founded in 1784 by Alexander Hamilton, BNY Mellon has long been committed to pioneering new paths in the financial industry.
In 2021, Dreyfus, BNY Mellon Investment Management’s liquidity solutions firm, decided to build a Diversity, Equity & Inclusion (DEI) initiative with measurable, sustainable impact that would be attractive to both clients and investors. This resulted in the launch of the BOLDSM share class for Dreyfus Government Cash Management. Dreyfus developed a relationship with Howard University due to its commitment to underrepresented communities and dedication to affordable education.
“The BOLD℠ shares make a 10% contribution of its net revenue1 to fund the GRACE Grant program,” said Stephanie Pierce, CEO, Dreyfus, Mellon and Exchange-Traded Funds. BOLD is an acronym for “Black Opportunity for Learning and Development.” This contribution – a minimum of $300,000 – is donated to GRACE Grant annually. “The BOLD℠ shares are offered exclusively through BNY Mellon via our flagship fund, Dreyfus Government Cash Management. It has excellent yield and liquidity, so the client is directly investing in all the benefits of that fund.”
1. "Net revenue” represents the management fee paid by the Fund to BNY Mellon Investment Adviser, Inc. (BNYMIA) after any fee waivers and/or expense reimbursements by BNYMIA and less any revenue sharing payments made by BNYMIA or its affiliates with respect to the Fund’s BOLD℠ shares. If in any year 10% of net revenue attributable to the Fund’s BOLD shares is less than $300,000, BNYMIA nevertheless will make the donation of the minimum amount from its past profits.
For BNY Mellon, this gives investors the opportunity to pursue their financial objectives while also making a social impact with their investment decisions. For Howard University, this has helped expand the GRACE grant program to help more students experiencing financial hardships graduate. Students such as Branton Barnes, a Howard senior studying business.
"The GRACE Grant has definitely allowed me to be more focused on school without having to worry about all of the outside noise,” said Barnes. “Once I found out I got it for sure, it was a relief and I was just so grateful.”
GRACE Grant recipients saw an average 15% increase in retention and an average four-year graduation rate of 78%, a 32% increase compared to students who did not receive such a grant.
"The results were amazing. Retention went through the roof. And the graduation rate was up 30-something percent," said Dr. Frederick. "Our students who qualify for the GRACE Grant represent students who are aspiring to become physicians, lawyers and scientists and this takes away one barrier to achieving that goal and ultimately fulfilling their dreams. I certainly have a lot of praise for BNY Mellon for being so innovative in coming up with this type of a structure to fund the education for these students."
A Bright Future
In addition to the BOLD℠ shares, BNY Mellon intends to support Howard with initiatives that include fostering a pipeline of diverse talent, a mentorship program and various educational programs, including leaders speaking on campus.
"I would say to GRACE Grant recipients that there are people out there who want to help you," said Barnes. "Just stay the course, continue to work hard and don't give up. Don't ever give up."
Barnes and his fellow students exemplify Howard University’s motto: "We prepare diverse, talented and ambitious students to learn, lead and embody excellence in truth and service." At BNY Mellon, we are proud to help deserving students on their educational journey and look forward to their contributions to the world.