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Anonymous donor gifts $10M to help Prairie View A&M students struggling due to the pandemic

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Posted at 4:39 PM, Nov 10, 2020
and last updated 2020-11-10 17:40:51-05

PRAIRIE VIEW, Texas — An anonymous donor has gifted $10 million to help Prairie View A&M University students who are struggling due to the COVID-19 pandemic stay in school.

“I am pleased to announce that the generosity of an anonymous donor will allow the university to establish an initiative to assist juniors and seniors impacted by the COVID-19 crisis to remain enrolled and graduate on a timely basis,” said PVAMU President Ruth J. Simmons. “Called Panther Success Grants, these unrestricted funds will be the critical difference in enabling these students to continue and complete their studies.”

The university says in-state, out-of-state and international students will be eligible for the new scholarship for up to $2,000 semester, with a maximum of $4,000 per academic year.

“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, Ph.D., 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.”

Many across the country, especially students, have been hit hard by the pandemic. The university says while enrollment has increased slightly this fall, many students and parents report that remaining enrolled will be a significant challenge.

“The Panther Success Grants will make it possible for eligible students to continue to progress toward degree completion and relieve them of the stress of wondering how and if they will be able to continue as a PVAMU Panther,” said Sarina R. Willis, Ph.D., vice president for Enrollment Management. “These grants result from the kindness, care, and concern that this donor has for our students.”

The scholarships will initially be dispersed to students who are "making satisfactory progress toward degree completion and are on track to graduate within six years." University officials will also identify students whose finances and financial aid are insufficient to satisfy the remaining college costs associated with completing their education.

Students will not need to apply for the scholarships. The awards will begin immediately using the criteria approved by the donor and will continue until the $10 million fund is disbursed.