TIAA Grants $1.5 Million Scholarship Endowment to Howard University

Originally published at TIAA ranked No. 9 on The Fair360, formerly DiversityInc Top 50 Companies for Diversity list in 2021.


Howard University undergraduate students will have access to a $1.5-million scholarship endowment from TIAA to help cover tuition, fees, room and board and other academic costs. The new Roger W. Ferguson Jr.-TIAA Scholarship Fund, named in recognition of TIAA’s former CEO, will provide financial assistance to select undergraduate students who demonstrate clear financial need and who have completed their freshman year. This endowment also enables Howard’s Graduation Retention Access to Continued Excellence program to live in perpetuity and will be named the Ferguson-TIAA GRACE Scholars program.

“We are incredibly grateful to TIAA for investing in the success of Howard students through the creation of the Ferguson-TIAA GRACE Scholars program,” said Wayne A.I. Frederick, Howard University President. “Mr. Ferguson has been a pillar in our society and through many of his deeds has been a voice for those less fortunate. The GRACE grant has been very successful in removing financial barriers for students and encouraging on-time graduation. It is fitting to have his name and this resource associated with the provision of opportunity for those who otherwise wouldn’t have it.”

Created in 2014, the GRACE Grant closes the gap for Howard University’s students who are most in need of financial support for their education. These students have an expected family contribution as low as $0. When GRACE recipients receive the grant, they are 40% more likely to stay enrolled for four years. The new Ferguson-TIAA GRACE Scholars program will provide a permanent source of financial aid to students in need.

The scholarship will begin in the 2022-2023 academic year for sophomores and pay up to $20,000 for tuition and fees each year through graduation for at least three students, provided the awardee remains on track to graduate in four years and maintains a minimum 2.5 GPA.

“HBCUs like Howard University have a long-standing history of enhancing access to higher education for students of color from all economic backgrounds,” said Michael McPherson, President of the TIAA Board of Governors. “Through this scholarship fund, and in conjunction with our continued partnership with Howard, our goal is to enhance this mission and ensure students thrive while pursuing their academic goals. We are also recognizing our former CEO, Roger Ferguson, whose outstanding leadership of our company reflects his longstanding commitment to the pursuit of knowledge and life-long learning.”

“Many of our students struggle financially to pay for their education, so donor scholarships are critically important to helping them stay on track,” said David Bennett, Senior Vice President for Development and Alumni Relations. “Through our partnership with TIAA, the new Ferguson-TIAA GRACE Scholars program greatly reduces student debt burden.”

TIAA’s commitment to higher education institutions can be traced back to its founding in 1918, when Andrew Carnegie established the company to provide guaranteed retirement income and life insurance to educators. More than 100 years later, TIAA continues to serve as the leading provider of retirement services for those in higher education, including more than 70% of all HBCUs.

“I am honored to have this scholarship named after me,” said Roger W. Ferguson, Jr. “Growing up in Washington, D.C., I have a great appreciation for Howard University as an institution committed to academic excellence and advancements in research while fostering leaders and difference makers across many disciplines. My hope is that this scholarship will enable future leaders to achieve their own academic dreams and positively impact the world.”

In addition to this scholarship, TIAA will continue its annual HBCU Early Career Insights Program, which allows HBCU students to seek professional advice directly from TIAA executives, talk with other HBCU alums, attend skill-building workshops and learn about TIAA’s summer internship opportunities.