(Black PR Wire) (WASHINGTON) —Thirty-seven recent college graduates were announced recenty as inaugural recipients of the UNCF Achievement Capstone Program, each receiving a $2,500 award to pay an unmet undergraduate balance or finance an advanced degree. The new program, administered by UNCF and underwritten by the National Achievement® Scholarship Program, conducted by National Merit Scholarship Corporation (NMSC), honors and grants financial assistance to high-achieving, underrepresented college graduates at Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) and Predominantly Black Institutions (PBIs) in the United States.
“The award money that I’m receiving from UNCF is an investment in my future, and those who donate to support African American students can see a return on that investment in me,” said Shaw University graduate Jordan Galloway, who is pursuing his Ph.D. in chemistry and chemical biology at the University of California, Merced.
The National Achievement® Scholarship Program has recognized and honored academically talented Black American high school students through NMSC for 51 years. The final group of high school students recognized in the program entered college in 2015. UNCF now carries on the National Achievement® Scholarship Program’s name and legacy through the newly-designed UNCF Achievement Capstone Program, which launched last spring.
UNCF Achievement Capstone Scholars were nominated by their college or university presidents, chancellors and deans based on outstanding academic performance, character and demonstrated leadership honoring the legacy of the 1964 Civil Rights Act. Candidates must be African American, must attend an accredited four-year, degree-granting HBCU or PBI and must have high academic performance leading to their campus’ eligibility for earning the designation of cum laude, magna cum laude or summa cum laude upon undergraduate graduation. Awardees may use the scholarship to pay off outstanding undergraduate educational costs at their current institutions or to finance additional degrees, professional certifications and continuing education programs.
Nominations for the 2017 awards will open in January for 87 eligible HBCUs and PBIs. The award amounts for selected scholars will be between $2,000 and $5,000.
Jasmine Bogan is a 2016 graduate of Fayetteville State University with a degree in biology. She is currently pursuing her masters in animal science at Fort Valley State University and will use the Achievement Capstone award to attend her dream school–UNCF-member institution Tuskegee University–to become a veterinarian.
“A lot of people aren’t able to receive financial assistance to make it through college, especially for graduate studies,” said Bogan. “Grad students are still students and we still need help. This award will truly help me out a lot.”
“For more than 72 years, UNCF has worked to get students to and through college, and awards more than $100 million in scholarships annually,” said Larry Griffith, UNCF senior vice president of scholarships and programs. “This program further expands UNCF’s reach to African American students across the country who will benefit from the honor, recognition and financial assistance accompanying these prestigious awards upon earning their bachelor’s degree.”
“NMSC is proud to partner with UNCF to carry on the name and legacy of the National Achievement Scholarship Program through the newly established UNCF Achievement Capstone Program,” said Timothy McGuire, President and CEO of NMSC. “We are thrilled to join with UNCF in honoring the inaugural class of UNCF Achievement Capstone Scholars, and we look forward to witnessing their continued successes and ongoing accomplishments well into the future.”