SOURCE: Helios Education Foundation

May 16, 2006 10:00 ET

Helios Education Foundation Establishes Headquarters in Arizona and Announces Grant to the Arizona College Scholarship Foundation

$10M Helios Grant to ACSF Forms the Helios-ACSF Scholars Fund

PHOENIX, AZ -- (MARKET WIRE) -- May 16, 2006 -- Helios Education Foundation (Helios) announced today its new corporate headquarters in Phoenix, Arizona. The non-profit education foundation supports initiatives that encourage participation, increase access, and enrich the learning experience leading to the successful completion of post-secondary education for Arizona and Florida residents. Helios occupies approximately 6,000 square feet of office space in the Esplanade office complex at 24th Street and Camelback Road.

Helios is hosting an invitation-only Open House on May 11th where it will also announce its largest grant to date. More than 200 community, government and business leaders from Arizona and Florida will be present when Helios announces a grant of $10M to the Arizona College Scholarship Foundation for the creation of the Helios-ACSF Scholars Fund. The Helios-ACSF Scholars Fund will provide scholarships and mentoring to 80 low income/high potential students per year in perpetuity to attend Arizona colleges and universities.

"We are thrilled to be in a position to make a positive impact on the education landscape in Arizona," said Vince Roig, Chairman and CEO of Helios. "We believe there is a significant opportunity for an organization like ours to advance improvements in our public education system that support students through the toughest period in their secondary education -- middle school through high school -- thereby improving high school graduation rates and post secondary education attendance. This grant is another step toward fulfilling our mission of enhancing educational opportunities in Arizona. We see our role as convener and partner with business, community, government and other foundation leaders to support the development of future generations of Arizonans," Roig concluded.

Since being established in 2004, Helios has dispersed more than $10M in Arizona to programs focused on what the Foundation calls "middle years" (7th - 12th grade), and post secondary education initiatives. With an endowment of over $600M, Helios is considered the largest education foundation in Arizona.

"The impact of Helios is already being seen across Arizona," said Don Budinger, Chairman of the Board of the Arizona College Scholarship Foundation. "This grant is going to make an enormous difference in the lives of our scholarship recipients, our future workforce, our economy and, ultimately, in the quality of life for all Arizonans. This is precisely the kind of foundation philanthropy that has long-term, far-reaching positive effects on our state."

About Helios Education Foundation

Helios Education Foundation (Helios) is an education foundation headquartered in Phoenix, Arizona, serving the citizens of Arizona and Florida with an endowment in excess of $600 million. Helios is dedicated to supporting initiatives that encourage participation, increase access, and enrich the learning experience leading to the successful completion of post-secondary education for Arizona and Florida residents. Helios is an outgrowth of the February 2004 conversion and reorganization of Southwest Student Services Corporation (Southwest), an Arizona not-for-profit corporation, and its not-for-profit affiliates, Arizona Educational Loan Marketing Corporation (AELMAC) and Florida Educational Loan Marketing Corporation (FELMAC). Southwest was a full service provider of student loan products and services to students, families and schools in Arizona, Florida and nationally. At the time of the reorganization, through its affiliates, AELMAC and FELMAC, Southwest was the eighth largest holder of federally insured student loans in the country. To accomplish the reorganization, Southwest and FELMAC were merged into AELMAC and the resulting entity was renamed Helios Education Foundation. All of the student loan operations of Southwest and its affiliates were transferred to a new for-profit Southwest Student Services Corporation, which was a wholly owned subsidiary of Helios. On October 15, 2004, Helios sold the stock of Southwest Student Services Corporation to SLM Corporation for just over $500 million. The net proceeds of the sale funded Helios.

For more information about Helios, visit

About Arizona College Scholarship Foundation

The Arizona College Scholarship Foundation (ACSF) is a non-profit organization made up of concerned Arizona business and community leaders, elected officials, policymakers, philanthropists, foundations, education leaders and community service organization leaders. All are committed to making college a reality for Arizona students through scholarships and mentoring programs to high potential/low income students. It is the state's most significant public/private collaborative effort to increase the number of baccalaureate degree holders in the state. Additionally, this initiative is designed to increase the high school graduation rate.

For more information about ACSF, visit

Contact Information

  • For additional information:
    Thom Brodeur
    (602) 808-1165
    Email Contact