Who We Are

The Woodward Hines Education Foundation (WHEF) is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization working to help Mississippi students plan and pay for college. We are committed to helping more Mississippians obtain postsecondary credentials, college certifications, and degrees that lead to meaningful employment.

The foundation’s flagship program, Get2College, has centers in Jackson, Ocean Springs, and Southaven that reach more than 45,000 Mississippi students annually, providing individual counseling on college admission and financial aid. WHEF also supports grants focused on increasing college access and success that ultimately lead to meaningful employment.

How We are Funded

WHEF and its founders have a long history of service to the students of Mississippi. WHEF’s founders helped start Mississippi Higher Education Assistance Corporation (MHEAC) in 1980 as a nonprofit funder of low cost education loans for Mississippians. In 1995, the founders elected to expand their mission to focus on higher education access for Mississippians through the creation of Education Services Foundation (ESF). Both MHEAC and ESF were restructured to allow MHEAC to liquidate its student loan portfolio over time and to transfer its fund balances to ESF—today, known as the Woodward Hines Education Foundation.

Our mission and strategy to help more Mississippi students has expanded and improved over time, but we remain focused on elevating Mississippi to a higher degree through programs and priorities that support educational access and success. 

WHEF Mission

Our mission is to help more Mississippians obtain postsecondary credentials, college certificates, and degrees that lead to meaningful employment.

WHEF Vision

We envision a Mississippi where all people can secure the training and education beyond high school that will allow them to enhance their quality of life, strengthen their communities, and contribute to a vibrant and prosperous future for our state.

Our Priorities

Access and Entry

Strengthen the pipeline between high school and college by improving college advising, information on college options and financial aid assistance

Persistence and Completion

Increase completion rates including course completion, credit accumulation, supporting working students, transferring between institutions, and attainment of credentials with labor market relevance

Connection to Family-Sustaining Work

Strengthening postsecondary alignment with workforce needs, build relationships with business and industry to align with workforce demands, connect students with work skills and provide learn and earn opportunities.