The Texas A&M University System will create a special $100 million scholarship fund “to address diversity issues” and assist students who have been economically affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, the institution said on Monday.
The scholarship program at the 11-university system will provide $10 million annually over the course of 10 years for scholarships to students from all socioeconomic backgrounds, particularly to low income, first-generation students from geographically underrepresented regions of the state. The universities will also fundraise to help support this effort.
The announcement comes as anti-racism protests continue across the nation in the wake of George Floyd’s death due to police brutality and as the pandemic has laid bare the racial inequities in the healthcare system.
“Historic challenges call for historic action,” said board chairwoman Elaine Mendoza in a statement. “Given the economic impact families are enduring across the state, it is imperative we act now before the Fall semester begins.”
Texas A&M system chancellor John Sharp however said in the statement that a plan for this fund has been in the works for years, with a goal of better representing the state’s demographic.
“With financial challenges from COVID-19, now is the time to do this.”