Columbia, SC (WLTX) Benedict College has received two federal grants totaling $3.4 million over five-years from the US Department of Education.
The five-year grant comes under the Department of Education's Upward Bound program. The program looks to assist first generation college students, low-income students, or those students who need academic support.
The first part of the grant will serve 100 students from five high schools in Fairfield, Lexington and Richland Counties. They include Airport High School, Brookland Cayce high School, C.A. Johnson Preparatory Academy, Fairfield Central High School and W.J. Keenan High School.
The second grant will serve 60 students at Camden High School in Kershaw County.
"This funding will help ensure that low-income students are well-prepared and well-equipped to excel in higher education, which is so important for success in today's world," said Dr. David H. Swinton, President and CEO of Benedict College.
"We are delighted and excited about receiving $3.4 million in grant funds to serve first-generation college bound students at Benedict College, "said Ms. Carolyn Pouncy, Director of Upward Bound at Benedict College.
Upward Bound is a pre-college program that has existed at Benedict College for more than 35 years. Students are accepted on the premise that they are college-bound and have the potential to graduate from a college of their choice.
Upward Bound is for students who have the academic potential for college work, but don't have the educational preparation and/or resources needed to enter college.
The Upward Bound program services include intensive six-week summer residential program and during the school year, monthly Saturday academic sessions, and a weekly after-school tutorting program. The program is free and students are paid a small stipend to participate.
The program at Benedict has served over 1,700 students and has a 96% retention rate with 94% of students passing the High School Assessment Program (HSAP) exit exam.