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Just asking for a quote can insure a student will get to attend and stay enrolled in a historically black college or university (HBCU).

Under the fourth annual Allstate Quotes for Education program, which is teaming up with the Tom Joyner Foundation, Allstate will donate $10, up to a total of $150,000, to the Foundation for every person who gets an estimate from an Allstate agent and mentions Quotes for Education from now through Dec. 31.

The funds will be earmarked for general scholarship funds to help students attending HBCUs.

“Each year, hundreds of students will be forced to drop out of college due to financial hardship,” Cheryl Harris, senior vice president at Allstate, and a Florida A&M University alumna, said in a news release announcing the program. “The Quotes for Education program brings to life a vision shared by Allstate and the Tom Joyner Foundation, which is to support programs for HBCUs that create educational opportunities for the next generation.”

According to a 2012 study by The Journal of Blacks in Higher Education, only four out of 37 HBCUs surveyed has a black student graduation rate of more than 50 percent within six years. The study also noted a declining trend in graduation rates since 2006, likely driven by recent economic conditions which have limited financial aid from public and private sources.

A 2009 study by the nonprofit research group Public Agenda found that most young adults who started but did not complete higher education cited the need to work more as a major reason that forced them to drop out of school. 

The program was started during the height of the recession to support students at historically black colleges and universities who were unable to complete their education because of financial problems.

An added feature this year is that participants in this program will also have a chance to vote for the HBCU of their choice to receive a separate $50,000 donation for scholarships.

“This is a big help to these students,” Tom Joyner, chairman and founder of the 14-year-old foundation bearing his name, said in the statement. “Given this tough economy these days, every single dollar we can provide to help a student finish their education will make a difference.”

The Tom Joyner Foundation’s primary mission is helping to keep students enrolled in Historically Black Colleges & Universities (HBCUs.)Since 1998, the foundation, chaired by nationally syndicated radio personality Tom Joyner, has raised more than $60 million to help keep students enrolled in black colleges, has assisted more than 14,000 students and worked with more than 100 HBCUs.

“This scholarship shows me that I’m worthy of the investment being made in my education, and it makes me grateful and hopeful for my future,” Desharee Williams, a student at Bethune-Cookman University and a past recipient of the Allstate and Tom Joyner Foundation scholarship, said in a statement. “This scholarship has allowed me to focus on class work and on pursuing extracurricular activities to build my professional portfolio.”

Allstate, which is partnering with the Foundation for the second year with the scholarship program, also has sponsored the Allstate Tom Joyner Family Reunion for the past 8 years.

To participate in the Quotes for Education program, visit to find a nearby participating agent or receive a quote online, or call 855-REP-HBCU (855-737-4228). You can also follow the conversation on Twitter at #RepHBCU and encourage friends and family to get involved.

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