- Associated Press - Saturday, March 29, 2014

VICKSBURG, Miss. (AP) - A $10,000 gift from Alcorn State University’s National Alumni Foundation will make more scholarships available for Alcorn students.

The donation and scholarships were announced at Alcorn’s satellite campus at Vicksburg Mall on Thursday.

The Vicksburg Post reports (http://bit.ly/1i3N4QX ) that the Alcorn National Alumni Association awards scholarships to students on the basis of scholarly performance, need, and area of specialization. No specific grade point average or income level is listed. Preference is given to those students whose specialization is deemed a critical manpower area.

A few students on scholarship this semester attended Thursday’s event to talk about the importance of having an extra revenue source to pay for college.

Condrea Collins, a long-distance runner on the ASU women’s track team who graduates in May, sees her foundation scholarship as a backup to the aid she had already secured, including an athletic scholarship. She said the foundation scholarship lessened her need for loans.

Cortni Cooper, a political science major and Miss Alcorn State University 2014, said the scholarships are a hand-up of sorts to students of modest means.

“Finances are vital and we should all give back to our university and foundation,” Cooper said. “We are minority students and some of us have come from broken homes, so you have that help and assistance.”

University officials praised the alumni foundation for its donation.

“We’re certainly appreciative of our alumni who give back to the institution,” said university president Dr. Alfred Rankins. “For many of our students, the ability to pay for college is a limitation. What these funds to is give them the opportunity to have higher education and improve their lives.”

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Information from: The Vicksburg Post, http://www.vicksburgpost.com