Beyoncé Announces the Homecoming Scholars Awards Program

Last week Beyoncé became the first black woman to headline Coachella in the festival’s history. The performance, which featured a Destiny’s Child reunion and Solange Knowles, sent celebrities and fans into a tizzy. In fact, the Bey Hive stated that the festival would now be referred to as Beychella. Following the groundbreaking Coachella performance, Beyoncé announced that she will be rewarding four deserving college students with scholarships for the 2018-2019 academic year. Knowles-Carter began distributing annual scholarships in 2017. On the first anniversary of her album, Lemonade, Beyoncé announced the Formation Scholars Awards Program which rewarded four female students from four different universities studying literature, African-American studies, music or creative arts. This year the selected schools offered the scholarships will all be HBCUs, also known as historically black colleges and universities.

Courtesy: E! News

The qualifications for this year’s scholarships, named the Homecoming Scholars Awards Program, have been changed. Any student attending Tuskegee University, Bethune-Cookman University, Wilberforce University, and Xavier University will be eligible, regardless of gender. There are, however, certain areas of study that the qualifiers must be majoring in. African-American studies, literature, business, communications, computer science, social sciences, education creative arts and science majors with a GPA of 3.5 or higher can enter to receive the rewards. One student from each school will receive $25,000 in funding. The winners will be chosen by their universities and announced in the summer. Information will be provided to students by their universities.

Courtesy: The Independent 

HBCUs were created to provide black Americans with educational institutions that they could attend to receive higher education. They were established prior to the Civil Rights Acts when black Americans could not attend colleges that were already established due to segregation. Over the years, HBCUs have been havens for not only black Americans but other citizens that have been marginalized and excluded throughout American history. Beyoncé’s performance at Coachella was inspired by HBCUs—specifically their homecomings which are staples in the HBCU experience. The singer wanted to recreate the energy and feelings that are evoked in HBCU students during this time and share it with those attending and watching her performance. Knowles-Carter’s announcement of the Homecoming Scholars Award Program reiterated this inspiration.

Beyoncé is distributing the scholarships as a part of her philanthropic BeyGOOD initiative which she has used to give back to others during times of crisis. BeyGOOD has donated nationally and internationally since its conception in 2013. Most recently, BeyGOOD assisted those affected by earthquakes and hurricanes across the United States, the Caribbean, Mexico and other countries.

Courtesy: Giphy