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April 23, 2008

HACU announces annual education travel award program nationwide

“Dándole Alas a Tu Éxito/Giving Flight to Your Success” program

SAN ANTONIO, TX – The Hispanic Association of Colleges & Universities in conjunction with Southwest Airlines, today announced the launch of its annual educational travel award program. Celebrating its fourth year, the “Dándole Alas a Tu Éxito/Giving Flight to Your Success” program provides roundtrip tickets to deserving undergraduate and graduate students across the country that travel away from home to pursue a higher education. Students can apply on-line by clicking here.

"Southwest Airlines is proud to support Hispanic youth achieving their dreams of a higher education." said Laura Nieto, Senior Manager of Southwest Airlines Corporate Community Affairs. "We know affordable air travel is very important to families with students away from home. Southwest helps to keep family bonds strong while students receive a college education."

In this year's program, each student is eligible to receive between one and four roundtrip tickets for the student and/or parent to use when traveling to/from the university. National education advocates and community leaders will determine the winners based on specific criteria including academic standing, financial need and a written essay. The complimentary airline ticket(s) can be used for travel to any of the 64 destinations that Southwest serves.

According to a Pew Hispanic Center report, experts on Hispanic college students believe attainment levels would improve if students were more willing to travel longer distances to colleges well-suited to meet their needs. Because proximity to home continues to be a barrier to achieving educational goals for Latino students, Southwest Airlines and HACU are supporting Hispanic college student success while keeping the students connected to family.

"HACU is proud to be part of the Lánzate program for the fourth year," said Antonio Flores, HACU President and CEO. "We admire Southwest's commitment to continue supporting Hispanic higher education by giving students the opportunity to 'spread their wings' while staying rooted at home."

Applications are due May 30, 2008. Travel award recipients will be notified the week of July 28, 2008. HACU, which has its national headquarters in San Antonio, Texas, represents more than 450 colleges and universities, including Hispanic-Serving Institutions (HSIs), which collectively serve more than two-thirds of all Hispanic higher education students in the United States. HACU's international membership includes leading higher education institutions in Latin America and in Spain.

After nearly 37 years of service, Southwest Airlines continues to offer the best value in airline travel, allowing customers the opportunity to travel nonstop throughout the country at a very low fare. Southwest offers a very comfortable ride with premium all leather seats and plenty of legroom. Southwest does not charge customers an extra fee for changing their reservation and continues to offer free amenities. Customers enjoy complimentary pillows, blankets, snacks, juice, soda, and water on all flights. Since 1987, the airline has maintained the lowest ratio of customer complaints to enplanements as published in the Department of Transportation's Air Travel Consumer Report. Southwest Airlines (NYSE: LUV), the nation's largest carrier in terms of domestic passengers enplaned, currently serves 64 cities in 32 states. Based in Dallas, Southwest currently operates more than 3,400 flights a day and has more than 34,000 Employees system wide.

HACU Contact:
Lorena Blanco, (210) 576-3224,