06/28/2013 | by
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As students begin finalizing their college plans this summer, apartment REIT Aimco (NYSE: AIV) awarded scholarships in June to 30 students who live in affordable rental housing units.

Aimco has handed out 104 Aimco Cares Opportunity Scholarships since the award was established three years ago.

“The Aimco Cares Opportunity Scholarship is designed to help exceptional students fulfill their dream of higher education, students who otherwise might not see college as financially feasible,” said Patti Shwayder, Aimco’s senior vice president of government relations and communications

The scholarship was established by Aimco and is granted through the National Leased Housing Association (NLHA). Money for the scholarships come from the NLHA Education Fund, a 501(c)(3) organization created to raise funds for the purpose of awarding education grants and scholarships to low income individuals residing in federally assisted rental housing owned, managed, or administered by members of the National Leased Housing Association.

“The NLHA Education Fund's success is due in large part to the generosity of Aimco Cares, which has helped NLHA meet our goal of helping low income students achieve self-sufficiency through education,” said NLHA Executive Director Denise Muha.

The criteria for the scholarship include students’ commitment to volunteer work. To be eligible, candidates must have a minimum grade point average of 2.5 and submit an essay about what education means to their future.

“Supporting education and giving back to our communities are goals of our philanthropic program, Aimco Cares,” Shwayder said. “The scholarship program also reflects Aimco’s culture as we strive to create moments that matter and seek opportunities to make a difference for our residents.”

Six of the 30 scholarship winners were in attendance for the announcement of the awards at the NLHA’s annual meeting in Washington in June.

Aimco has an extensive philanthropic program that was launched in 2004 to mark the company’s 10th anniversary of becoming a public company.

In addition to the scholarship fund, Aimco gives each employee 10 hours of paid leave annually to volunteer for charitable organizations of their choice. The company also sponsors an annual charity golf tournament that has raised more than $2 million since it began in 2004, the proceeds of which go to both education and military family causes.