Beyoncé, one of the US’s most idolized African American pop stars, has announced US$100,000 in scholarships to students from four historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs) – Xavier University, Wilberforce University, Tuskegee University and Bethune-Cookman University.
The scholarships, under the newly established Homecoming Scholars Award Program, is open to all applicants in the selected schools regardless of gender, provided they maintain a GPA of 3.5 or above.
The accepted disciplines include literature, creative arts, African-American studies, science, education, business, communications, social sciences, computer science and engineering, said a media release by Parkwood Entertainment, which houses Beyoncé’s philanthropic initiative BeyGOOD.
One winner from each school will be chosen, and he or she will receive their share of US$25,000 for study in the 2018-2019 academic year. The universities, which were established to educate black US citizens before the 1964 civil rights act, will award the scholarships to the selected scholars this summer.
— Los Angeles Times (@latimes) April 16, 2018
“We salute the rich legacy of Historically Black Colleges and Universities,” the release quoted Parkwood Entertainment’s Director of Philanthropy and Corporate Relations Ivy McGregor as saying.
“We honor all institutions of higher learning for maintaining culture and creating environments for optimal learning which expands dreams and the seas of possibilities for students.”
Beyoncé announced the Homecoming Scholars Award Program on the back of her Coachella headline performance. She is the first black woman to headline the festival.
This is Beyoncé’s second university scholarship program after her Formation Scholars Awards Program; a scholarship program supported young women studying creative arts, music, literature or African-American studies at Berklee College of Music, Parsons School of Design, Howard University and Spelman College which was awarded last April.
This scholarship, which was her first education award offered through her philanthropic BeyGOOD initiative marked the one-year anniversary of her visual album LEMONADE.
BeyGood also works with UNICEF for an initiative that aims to “improve water, sanitation and basic hygiene practices in the East African nation of Burundi, where nearly half the population had no access to clean, safe water.”