Thirty-one first-generation college students at Cal State Bakersfield will each receive a scholarship of $3,000 from The Coca-Cola Foundation, which has awarded CSUB a grant totaling $100,000.
“We believe education holds an extraordinary promise to change lives,” said Helen Smith Price, president of The Coca-Cola Foundation in a press release. “By providing college scholarships to students who are the first in their families to attend college, we hope to encourage them to pursue their academic dreams and realize their full and unique potential.”
Recipients will be chosen next term by a selection committee from a pool of undergraduate freshmen who can demonstrate they are the first in their immediate family to attend college, enrolled full-time, have a financial need and have earned at least a 3.0 grade point average.
Modeled after a similar program at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, CSUB’s First Generation Initiative is administered by Vernon Harper, interim provost and vice president of academic affairs and a first-generation college student.
Nearly half of CSUB’s 11,000 students are the first in their families to pursue higher education, according to a press release. About 70 percent of the university’s Latino students are first generation.