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Walmart Foundation Gives $3.6 Million to Veterans Educational Programs

ACE, Students Veterans of America and 10 institutions of higher education receive grants

BENTONVILLE, Ark., Nov. 10, 2008 – The Walmart Foundation is celebrating Veteran’s Day by donating a total of $3.6 million in grants to 12 organizations to support programs that provide educational assistance for veterans. The American Council on Education (ACE) received a $2.5 million grant to support successful veteran educational assistance programs in 20 institutions of higher education. In addition, the Walmart Foundation awarded 10 colleges and universities with $100,000 grants each to build programs and develop resources to support veterans with access to higher education and success in completing their degrees.

“The men and women who serve our country are our nation’s heroes,” said Margaret McKenna, president of the Walmart Foundation. “Walmart is proud to support programs that help our veterans get the resources they need to succeed in their education and their transition back to civilian life.”

Student Veterans of America (SVA) also received a $100,000 grant for capacity building and to support student veteran advocates on campuses across the country.

GI Bill to Fund Education for Veterans
It is estimated that the number of veterans in the United States will rise to more than 375,000 in 2009. To help meet the needs of those veterans, the 21st Century GI Bill was signed into law on June 30. The GI Bill will provide veterans the financial means to attend any public college in the nation as well as benefits for those who choose to attend private colleges. Veterans are entitled to receive the cost of tuition and fees, a monthly housing allowance, yearly books and supplies and a one-time re-locating fee to those moving from highly rural areas.

30 Higher Education Institutions to Receive Grants
To support the thousands of veterans who will take advantage of the GI Bill, the Walmart Foundation has awarded the American Council on Education a $2.5 million grant to support successful veterans education programs across the country. Through a competitive grant program, ACE will identify and reward 20 institutions that operate model programs advancing access and success in higher education for veterans and their families. The winning 20 institutions will be awarded $100,000 grants in the spring of 2009.

“In conversations with veterans, we have heard, time and time again, that their needs are modest but the impact of our policy decisions on campus carry significant weight,” said ACE President Molly Corbett Broad. “Giving institutions the ability to accelerate their programs to support veterans—and to expand promising practices to other campuses—will tell our former servicemen and women that we are committed to their success. We are so grateful to the Walmart Foundation for their generous support of our goals.”

The Walmart Foundation also awarded $100,000 grants to 10 higher education institutions that currently have successful veteran educational assistance programs. The grants will support the development of new and existing programs and provide resources to assist veterans with access to education, adjustment to civilian life and success in completing their degrees. Following are the institutions that received a grant:

Cleveland State University San Diego State University
Arkansas State University University of Minnesota
Mississippi State University of Incarnate Word (Texas)
Montgomery College (Md.) Citrus College (Calif.)
Florida Community College San Diego Community College

Additional Grant to Support Grassroots OrganizationThe Walmart Foundation awarded a $100,000 grant to Student Veterans of America (SVA), a coalition of student veterans groups from college campuses across the country. Formed in January 2008, SVA is one of the most rapidly growing grassroots veterans’ organizations in the United States today. In just a few short months it has attracted more than 85 student veterans organizations across the country. The $100,000 grant from the Walmart Foundation will help SVA establish additional chapters and support student veteran advocates on campuses across the country.

The SVA also works in collaboration with ACE on the Severely Injured Military Veterans: Fulfilling Their Dreams program. Fulfilling Their Dreams offers educational counseling to injured veterans and their families to assist them in finding resources to help plan for the future and make informed decisions about potential programs of study. Earlier this year, the Walmart Foundation provided a $250,000 grant to ACE in support of Fulfilling Their Dreams.

About Philanthropy at Walmart
Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. (NYSE: WMT) and the Walmart Foundation are proud to support the charitable causes that are important to customers and associates in their own neighborhoods. Through its philanthropic programs and partnerships, the Walmart Foundation supports initiatives focused on enhancing opportunities in education,job skills training, sustainability and health. In 2007, Walmart, Sam’s Club and the Walmart Foundation gave $296 million to communities across the United States. To learn more, visit www.walmartfoundation.org.

About the American Council for Education
Founded in 1918, the American Council on Education (ACE) is the major coordinating body for all the nation's higher education institutions, representing more than 1,600 college and university presidents, and more than 200 related associations, nationwide. It seeks to provide leadership and a unifying voice on key higher education issues and influence public policy through advocacy, research, and program initiatives.

About Student Veterans of America
Student Veterans of America (SVA) is a coalition of student veterans groups from college campuses across the United States. Founded in January of 2008, SVA is a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt organization that works to develop new student groups, coordinate between existing student groups, and advocate on behalf of student veterans at the local, state, and national level.

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