Photo of two African American students in library

Our Mission

UNCF envisions a nation where all Americans have equal access to a college education that prepares them for rich intellectual lives, competitive and fulfilling careers, engaged citizenship and service to our nation.

UNCF’s mission is to build a robust and nationally-recognized pipeline of under-represented students who, because of UNCF support, become highly-qualified college graduates and to ensure that our network of member institutions is a respected model of best practice in moving students to and through college.

UNCF’s North Star is to increase the total annual number of African American college graduates by focusing on activities that ensure more students are college-ready, enroll in college and persist to graduation. This is done through a three-pillar strategy. Positioning member institutions as a viable college option for students and investing in institutional capacity to improve student outcomes; creating transformational support programs to ensure students are enrolling and persisting through college completion; building awareness of educational attainment and cultivating college-going behaviors within the African American community.

Our Message

“A mind is a terrible thing to waste.”®

Our iconic motto, and our universally recognized public service announcements, alert Americans to UNCF’s need for resources to invest in better futures for its students and, through their success, for all of us. But they also call for us to invest more than money. We all need to invest our time and effort in supporting better education systems in our communities, creating a college-going culture in the African American community and guiding the young people in our lives toward a better future. Learn more about how UNCF makes it possible for more students to say:

My name is ___________ and I am your dividend.™

Invest in Better Futures

A UNCF Success Story

During Christmas break her senior year, Ciara May found herself back at home in Los Angeles wondering how she could finish her final semester in college. She’d made it to her final year, but simply did not have the funds to continue. That’s when UNCF stepped in to help.