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JCSU Receives Scholarships to Help Students Stay on Track to Graduation

CHARLOTTE, N.C. – June 17, 2013 --  The National Science Foundation has awarded Johnson C. Smith University $616,000 in scholarship support for students studying science, technology, engineering and math (STEM). The award will provide 96 scholarships to close the financial gap for students for whom college affordability presents a challenge.

The scholarships will be administered through the university’s ASPIRE program, which supports academically talented students who demonstrate financial need in attaining baccalaureate degrees in STEM.

 “We know that college affordability continues to be a challenge for underrepresented minorities in STEM,” said Dawn McNair, principal investigator for the  NSF S-STEM ASPIRE Program. “Because of the financial challenges that exist, students often pursue other means of financial support. Some may  work fulltime while juggling  a full STEM course load. Others may stop attending for short periods in order to make enough money to pay tuition, transfer to another institution or drop out altogether.”

In addition to providing scholarship aid to ease the financial burden, the ASPIRE program offers students a STEM mentoring network of peers, faculty, alumni and local industry professionals. It also presents opportunities for them to be involved in undergraduate research early in their college years. “This combination of financial assistance and support services in many cases shortens the time it takes to earn a degree,” said McNair.

Johnson C. Smith University has earned national recognition by Diverse Issues in Higher Education magazine which ranked JCSU 18th in the nation in graduating African Americans in computer and information sciences and 21st in mathematics. Its STEM programs are designed to prepare students for emerging fields in renewable energy, medical informatics, bioinformatics, electronics, robotics and cyber security.

Founded in 1867, Johnson C. Smith University is an independent, close-knit urban university located in Charlotte, N.C. It has a growing national reputation for integrating the liberal arts with business, the sciences and technology in ways that empower tomorrow’s diverse entrepreneurial citizens and leaders. Offering 23 fields of study to more than 1,600 students from a variety of ethnic, socioeconomic and geographic backgrounds, the university’s excellent academic programs focus on servant leadership, civic engagement and global responsibility. For more information about JCSU, visit www.jcsu.edu or follow the university on social media sites Facebook , Twitter, YouTube, LinkedIn and  http://pinterest.com/jcsu/  

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