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United States Department of Agriculture presents $750,000 in scholarship funding to SAAS Scholar Program

Seventy-five Alcorn State University students are receiving a $10,000 scholarship to pay for their college education, thanks to the generosity and support of the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA).

Last spring marked the School of Agriculture and Applied Sciences (SAAS) Scholars Program's introduction, an effort created to assist students in their academic studies. The scholarship funds students’ tuition, books, housing, and living expenses annually, contingent upon their successful academic performance. Students are required to be enrolled full-time in the following majors: Agricultural Sciences; AgriBusiness Management; Agricultural Economics; Human Sciences; Child Development/Human Development; Family and Consumer Sciences; Food, Nutrition, and Community Health Sciences or Geographic Information Science and Technology.

“We are sincerely grateful for our students’ commitment to this scholarship program,” said Dr. Edmund Buckner, dean, and director of Land-Grant Programs, School of Agriculture and Applied Sciences. “Our students continue to benefit from the generous efforts of the USDA and those who support this remarkable initiative.”

Sponsored by the USDA through a $750,000 grant, the scholarship encourages students at 1890 institutions to pursue and complete baccalaureate degrees in the food and agricultural sciences that will lead to a highly-skilled food and agricultural systems workforce.

Alvin Jones, a freshman majoring in agribusiness management, is thrilled to know that his hard work has paid off in the most rewarding way.

“I feel that this accomplishment is the beginning to a very productive future here at Alcorn State University,” said the Heidelberg, Mississippi native. “Being a SAAS scholar has introduced me to a multitude of influential people that not only care about me during my time here at Alcorn but also about my future post-graduation. I have already had the opportunity to apply for internships and talk with recruiters from different companies around the country. This scholarship will provide me with the tools that I need to not only be a successful student, but successful in my field as well.”

In the future, Jones hopes to pursue his career as a business professional.

“In spite of dealing with the effects of COVID-19, we wanted to recognize our scholars,” said Casnacita Gray, director of Student Services, SAAS. “We want our students to know that we are fully committed to their success. By honoring them today, we are showing them that we are here despite the challenges and, most of all, that we care.”

Scholarship award recipients were judged based on their academic achievements, extracurricular and community activities, as well as the quality of written essays.

Applications for 2021 scholarships will be available beginning in November. To apply, visit www.alcorn.edu/land-grant.

For more information, contact De’Onqua Isaac, student recruitment specialist, SAAS, at 601.877.2407 or deonqua@alcorn.edu. You may also contact Gray at 601.877.6552 or csgray@alcorn.edu.