WSSU Receives $275,000 Grant for Scholarships to Allow Students to Graduate

December 4, 2014

Winston-Salem State University (WSSU) has received a $275,000 grant from the Kate B. Reynolds Charitable Trust to support its Almost Home Scholarship Program that provides financial aid for Forsyth County students who are near graduation.

"For the past several years, we have consistently seen significant numbers of students unable to complete their degrees due to the lack of financial support," said Chancellor Donald J. Reaves.  "The reduction in federal and state dollars has created the one issue that the university has not been able to control in our efforts to ensure that our students graduate and graduate in a timely manner.  This grant from the Kate B. Reynolds Charitable Trust will allow approximately 22 students each year for the next three years to graduate with a college degree."

Nearly 90 percent of the students at WSSU receive need-based financial aid and 60 percent of them cannot expect family contributions to their college expenses because of their families' financial situation.

"The majority of our students are the first in their families to attend college, said Dr. Brenda Allen, provost.  "The cuts in financial aid have profoundly affected our student body and that is particularly troubling because of the impact on students who are academically eligible to return and are near graduation.  We know that earning a college degree will not only improve the lives of our students, but will reverberate into future generations, improving the quality of life for their families and the communities where they will live and work."

Given the university's retention efforts that include supportive services such as enhanced advisory, tutoring, career development and mentoring activities, the Almost Home Scholarship Program becomes a key component of the school's focus on student success

"We feel confident that this scholarship will increase college completion rates for students who are contending with unforeseen personal and financial circumstances that may hinder their ability to complete their education at WSSU," Allen added.

The Kate B. Reynolds Charitable Trust was established in 1947 and is now one of the largest private trusts in North Carolina. Its mission is to improve the quality of life and quality of health for the financially needy of North Carolina. The Health Care Division promotes wellness state-wide by investing in prevention and treatment. The Poor and Needy Division of the Trust responds to basic life needs and invests in solutions that improve the quality of life and health for financially needy residents of Forsyth County. Wells Fargo Bank, N.A. serves as sole trustee.

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