Helping to Make College Dreams a Reality
TIME TO READ: 4 MINUTES
The BNY Mellon BOLDSM shares initiative, in alignment with Howard University and its GRACE Grant, creates opportunity and a brighter future for students in need.
Howard University is a leading historically Black college and university (HBCU) located in Washington, D.C. Founded in 1867 by General Oliver Otis Howard, a hero of the Civil War, Howard is one of the oldest institutions of higher learning in the U.S., producing several Rhodes Scholars and awarding over 120,000 degrees. Notable alumni range from actor Chadwick Boseman and novelist Toni Morrison to Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall and Vice President Kamala Harris.
A Weighty Financial Challenge
Despite this storied history, Dr. Wayne A. I. Frederick, Howard University president, faced a difficult challenge. As he walked the 256-acre campus, he thought of the 12,000 students under his purview and knew that too many were leaving before graduation.
“I oversaw enrollment management,” said Dr. Frederick. “And I observed that our four-year graduation rate was not as good as I would've liked it to be. They were stepping out because they had too much debt or they could not afford the expenses.”
Howard University saw significant retention drop-off rates for students after their first year due to financial hardship. One in every three students in need of financial aid typically transfers out of Howard – whether to another school or out of college completely – by the end of their junior year. For students, particularly those most financially disadvantaged, the challenges of their reality outweigh the possibility of their future.
Facing a declining graduation rate due to financial hardships, Howard University created the GRACE Grant program (GRACE Grant stands for Graduation, Retention and Access to Continuing Education)
The GRACE Grant is funded by BNY Mellon’s BOLDSM shares program, a fund that is attractive to both clients and investors
The BOLDSM shares make a 10% contribution of their net revenue to fund the GRACE Grant program – a minimum of $300,000 annually – supporting our mutual commitment to underrepresented communities and dedication to affordable education
The solution was the GRACE Grant. “Our GRACE Grant stands for Graduation, Retention and Access to Continuing Education,” said Dr. Frederick. “And then that led us to a conversation with BNY Mellon.”
The BOLD℠ shares are offered exclusively through BNY Mellon on 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.
— Stephanie Pierce, CEO, Dreyfus, Mellon and Exchange-Traded Funds
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.
Number of Students
“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.
I 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.
— Dr. Wayne A. I. Frederick, Howard University President
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."
The GRACE Grant has definitely allowed me to be more focused on school without having to worry about all of the outside noise. Once I found out I got it for sure, it was a relief and I was just so grateful.
— Branton Barnes, Howard University Senior
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.
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Investors should carefully consider the investment objectives, risks, charges and expenses of a money market fund before investing. To obtain a prospectus, or summary prospectus, if available, that contains this and other information about the fund, contact your financial professional or visit dreyfus.com. Read the prospectus carefully before investing.
The Dreyfus Government Cash Management BOLD℠ shares ("BOLD℠ shares") are distributed by BNY Mellon Securities Corporation, a registered broker-dealer and affiliate of The Bank of New York Mellon ("the Bank"). The Bank is not a distributor for the BOLD℠ shares. Other information on this site is not provided by or endorsed by BNY Mellon Securities Corporation. For additional information on the BOLD℠ shares please go to our Dreyfus site by clicking here.
Statistics on the GRACE Grant are provided by Howard University as of the 2021-2022 academic year.
The BOLDSM shares support Howard University's GRACE Grant, which stands for Graduation Retention Access to Continued Excellence, with an annual charitable donation of 10% from past profits. "Net revenue" represents the management fee paid by the fund to 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 BOLDSM shares. If in any year 10% of net revenue attributable to the fund’s BOLDSM shares is less than $300,000, BNYMIA, nevertheless, will make the donation of the minimum amount from its past profits.
In February 2022, Dreyfus made a donation of $300,000 to Howard’s GRACE Grant. Dreyfus is partnering with Howard University to build a non-financial program focusing on recruitment, mentorship and education to provide students further learning and development opportunities.
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