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Paying for College Just Got Easier for 250 College Freshmen

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NEW YORK - Paying for college just got easier for 250 family members of Verizon employees who will be starting four-year colleges this fall. Each Verizon scholar will receive a scholarship of $5,000 per academic year.

Since 2001, more than 1,550 students from California to New York have benefited from the scholarship program, which has invested more than $23 million toward the college education of Verizon employee children and dependants. For the 2006-2007 academic year, the Verizon Foundation will invest $4.9 million toward the education of 968 Verizon scholars -- 250 freshmen and 718 upperclassmen -- who will attend colleges and universities across the country this fall. Verizon scholars are eligible to receive a maximum award of $20,000 each throughout four years of college.

"Our commitment to developing a skilled work force for the 21st century begins at home, with the families of our employees," said Patrick Gaston, president of the Verizon Foundation. "Verizon and the foundation proudly support these students because we realize that an investment in their education is an investment in our future."

Since 2001, tuition and fees at four-year private and public universities have risen by 32 percent and 57 percent, respectively, according to the College Board.

The Verizon Foundation awards the scholarships in partnership with Scholarship America, a nonprofit, private sector scholarship and educational support organization. Founded in 1958, Scholarship America has distributed more than $1billion to more than 1 million students. It is the nation's largest nonprofit, private sector scholarship and educational support organization.

A list of Verizon scholars is available on the Verizon Foundation Web site, at

Verizon delivers technology that touches life. The Verizon Foundation uses that technology and its financial resources to improve literacy and K-12 education; help families victimized by domestic violence; and improve the delivery of health care. In 2005, the foundation awarded more than $74 million in grants to charitable and nonprofit agencies in the United States and abroad. The foundation also supports Verizon Volunteers, which is one of the largest employee volunteer programs in the United States and responsible for 2 million hours of community service since 2000 and $35.6 million in combined contributions to nonprofits in 2005 alone.

For more information on the foundation, visit

Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE:VZ), a Dow 30 company, is a leader in delivering broadband and other communication innovations to wireline and wireless customers. Verizon operates America's most reliable wireless network, serving 53 million customers nationwide; one of the most expansive wholly-owned global IP networks; and one of the nation's premier wireline networks, serving mass market, business, government and wholesale customers. Based in New York, Verizon has a diverse workforce of more than 250,000 and generates annual consolidated operating revenues of approximately $90 billion. For more information, visit