Prairie View A&M University in Prairie View, Texas, has announced a $10 million gift from a donor who wishes to remain anonymous to fund scholarships for students struggling to complete their degrees during the pandemic.
The Panther Success Grants initiative will provide unrestricted funds to juniors and seniors impacted by the COVID-19 crisis, enabling them to remain enrolled and graduate on time. In-state, out-of-state, and international students all will be eligible to apply for a scholarship of up to $2,000 per semester and $4,000 per academic year — the average amount that Prairie View students with jobs contribute annually to their education. The university will give priority to students who are making satisfactory progress toward the completion of their degrees, as well as those whose finances and any financial aid they receive are insufficient to cover their college costs.
College students of color and low-income students nationwide have been disproportionately impacted by job losses, disparities in health outcomes, and other challenges stemming from the pandemic, and while enrollment at PVAMU is up slightly this fall, many students report that staying enrolled in school will be a challenge. The scholarship assistance made possible by the gift "will be the critical difference in enabling these students to continue and complete their studies," said PVAMU president Ruth J. Simmons.
"This type of extraordinary generosity supports students on the path toward graduation in spite of incredibly difficult financial stresses due to the pandemic," said James M. Palmer, provost and senior vice president of academic affairs at PVAMU. "Grants for identified students support the university's mission by helping graduate transformational leaders so desperately needed in society today."
(Photo credit: Prairie View A&M University)