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Wal-Mart Helps Youths Go To College

Every Store Offers $1,000 Scholarships to Two Deserving High School Seniors; State and National Awards Also Available

BENTONVILLE, Ark. Jan 17, 2005 – Wal-Mart will help more than 7,000 students achieve their dream of a college education this year. Every Wal-Mart, SAM’S CLUB and Neighborhood Market may award up to two Sam M. Walton Community Scholarships to high school seniors in their local area. In all approximately $7.6 million in scholarships funded by the Wal-Mart & SAM’S CLUB Foundation will be made available.
The Sam M. Walton Community Scholarship is a $1,000 award to defray the expenses of tuition, books, and on-campus room and board. Winners become eligible for state and national recognition. State winners will receive a total of $5,000 and the national winner a total of $25,000 in scholarship assistance. Applications are only available online at www.walmartfoundation.org. The deadline to apply is February 1, 2005. 

“The Sam M. Walton Community Scholarship Program underscores the commitment of the Wal-Mart & SAM’S CLUB Foundation to education in our country,” said Betsy Reithemeyer, vice president of corporate affairs for Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. “Since 1979, we have been able to help thousands of young people go to college and earn their degree. We believe that helping people access higher education is one of the most important ways we can give back to the communities we serve and truly make a difference in the lives of the scholarship recipients.” Since the scholarship program’s inception 25 years ago, Wal-Mart has awarded more than $80 million in scholarship assistance.

Selection Criteria
In order to qualify, students must be in their senior year of high school, a U.S. citizen and have a 2.5 grade point average. An independent panel of judges will select the recipients on the basis of financial need, academic record, ACT/SAT test scores and school involvement. Wal-Mart associates and their immediate families have separate scholarship programs available to them and are not eligible for this award. Winners will be notified in May.

Year-Round Commitment to Education and Communities
The scholarship program is just one facet of Wal-Mart’s ongoing commitment to education. In addition to broad-based support of local schools at the store level, the Wal-Mart & SAM’S CLUB Foundation has one of the largest teacher recognition programs in the country. Each store, club and distribution center, nationwide, names a local “teacher of the year.” Local winners receive $1,000 for their respective schools and become eligible for state and national recognition and awards. Wal-Mart also sponsors a national literacy helpline, directing callers to agencies in their local area who can help them learn to read, often free of charge. Each Wal-Mart and SAM’S CLUB also awards literacy grants to local litearcy organizations each year. In total, Wal-Mart invested more than $40 million in educational initiatives last year. “We can’t think of a smarter investment,” said Reithemeyer.

With a focus on education, children and communities, Wal-Mart contributes – through the Wal-Mart & SAM’S CLUB Foundation – over $18,000 an hour, or more than $5 a second every day of the year. During this fiscal year, Wal-Mart’s commitment will provide more than $158 million to local non-profit organizations and services improving the quality of life in our communities. According to the Chronicle of Philanthropy, this makes Wal-Mart the largest corporate cash giver in the country.

About Wal-Mart Stores Inc.
Wal-Mart Stores Inc. operates Wal-Mart Stores, Supercenters, Neighborhood Markets and SAM’S CLUBS in all 50 states.  Internationally, the company operates in Puerto Rico, Canada, China, Mexico, Brazil, Germany, United Kingdom, Argentina, and South Korea.  The company’s securities are listed on the New York and Pacific stock exchanges under the symbol WMT. 

More information about Wal-Mart can be located on-line at www.walmartstores.com and www.walmart.com.  The SAM’S CLUB Web site can be accessed at www.samsclub.com.  And more information about Wal-Mart’s Good Works community involvement is available online at www.walmartfoundation.org.

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