The Auburn Alumni Association recently increased its commitment to the funding of the Provost Leadership Undergraduate Scholarship, according to Steve Inabinet, coordinator of scholarship programs at the Office of Alumni Affairs.
According to Overtoun Jenda, associate provost for diversity and multicultural affairs, the PLUS program provides scholarships to promote diversity on campus.
Jenda said the scholarship is not only for students of color, but it’s an all-inclusive scholarship for first-generation and low-income students.
The PLUS program assists participants by providing them with a $2,000 scholarship per academic year, renewable up to four years, and supports them academically and socially to ensure that they succeed at Auburn University, according to the Office of Diversity and Multicultural Affairs website.
Inabinet said the Alumni Association increased the funding from four recipients to nine recipients.
There was a difference between the Alumni Association PLUS and the Office of Diversity and Multicultural Affairs PLUS, according to Inabinet.
“The basic difference between the two is how they are funded,” Inabinet said. “The one for the Auburn Alumni Association PLUS is funded separately than the ones from the ODMA.”
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Inabinet said ODMA still selects the recipients and determines if the scholarships are renewable.
“We are doing additional fundraising through events that will be held in the future to continue improving the quantity of scholarship awards and, of course, the funding,” Inabinet said.
According to Inabinet, because of the price of tuition, there is a need for scholarships to be added to the University, and the Alumni Association comes up with ways for funding scholarships.
“We issue a lot more scholarships that students deserve and need that could be, and can, and are awarded to persons that meet the PLUS qualification,” Inabinet said.
Jenda said there are currently 137 recipients of the scholarship, compared to the 40 recipients they began with in 2006.
“The goal is to increase this number, and that’s where we rely on donations from alumni and corporations and friends to help us save money to provide scholarships,” Jenda said.
Jenda said PLUS has a retention program to ensure that students do well while they are still recipients of the scholarship.
Jess Choi, recipient of the PLUS scholarship and junior in integrative biology, said the retention program activities has helped her with leadership and networking since she is able to connect with people in her major.
Binh Nguyen, recipient of PLUS scholarship and freshman in public relations, said he will eventually donate to the PLUS scholarship.
“It’s nice to be a part of something, and in the future, I can look back and donate as an alumnus,” Nguyen said.
Barbara Wallace-Edwards, coordinator of alumni engagement said by providing the scholarship, diversity continues to increase at the University.
“We want to help increase minority enrollment in Auburn University, and one way we can do that is by awarding PLUS scholarships,” Wallace-Edwards said.
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