NEW YORK — The Howard scholars’ association announced Thursday it will spend $250 million over the next two decades to help expand the institution’s scholarly offerings.
The investment comes as the Howard University Foundation, the nonprofit that manages the university, works to transform its reputation among scholars and bolster the university’s financial bottom line.
The Howard College, which is in the process of merging with Howard University, is also planning to launch a new scholarship program in 2018.
The new scholarship initiative, which will be named the Howard Scholars Initiative, will support students with disabilities and other underserved communities through the construction of scholarships.
The Howard College’s new scholarship effort is part of a $100 million investment over the course of five years to increase access to and participation in scholarship, with funding for the new initiative aimed at increasing the number of scholarships available to students who have specific needs.
The $250-million investment is part, the foundation said, of a “comprehensive effort to improve the academic, research, and service opportunities for Howard students and other underrepresented students.”
“This investment will help us better serve students and ensure that we are not only creating opportunities for students, but also building an environment that supports and supports students to be better scholars,” said John W. Pritchard, dean of the Howard College.
“This investment also gives us the opportunity to do the right thing for students who are underrepresented, to give them the support they need to succeed and make them a better scholar.”
The investment, which also includes an expansion of scholarships and a new student-centered program, will be announced as part of the foundation’s annual Howard Scholars Week, which begins Thursday.
The foundation also plans to launch an online tool for students to find scholarship opportunities that meet their specific needs and make it easier to find scholarships.
Howard University President Thomas G. Perez, who also chairs the board of trustees, called the Howard scholarship program a “critical step” in the university being able to create more opportunities for underrepresented groups.
“This is the first time Howard has had the resources necessary to develop a comprehensive scholarship program,” Perez said.
“It’s an exciting time for our community.”
The new scholarship project is the latest in a series of investments made by Howard over the past decade, which has also increased its overall resources and support to more students, including an expansion and development of a new residential student housing complex in the Bronx and the creation of the Center for Student Achievement.
Howard College is in its fourth year as the home of the nation’s first African American undergraduate graduate school.
The college has more than 4,000 undergraduate and graduate students from across the country and around the world.