Beyoncé's Homecoming Scholars Award program (previously the Formation Scholars Award program) is expanding to eight schools in its second year with the help of a Google.org partnership.
In the 2018-2019 academic year, one student from Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) Xavier University, Wilberforce University, Tuskegee University, Bethune-Cookman University, Texas Southern University, Fisk University, Grambling State University and Morehouse College will receive a $25,000 education grant.
Ivy McGregor, Director of Philanthropy and Corporate Relations at Parkwood Entertainment, which houses the BeyGOOD Initiative, said the program salutes "the rich legacy of Historically Black Colleges and Universities." She added, "We honor all institutions of higher learning for maintaining culture and creating environments for optimal learning which expands dreams and the seas of possibilities for students."
Beyoncé established the scholarship in April 2017 to mark the one-year anniversary of her 2016 visual LP, Lemonade. While the first year spotlighted young women, the 2018-2019 year will expand to all qualifying students at the four universities, regardless of gender.
The associated disciplines will include literature, creative arts, African American studies, science, education, business, communications, social sciences, computer science and engineering. Applicants must maintain a 3.5 or better GPA. The four universities will select all finalists and winners, with recipients announced this summer.
Beyoncé honored the history of HBCUs during her headlining Coachella set on Saturday, incorporating over 150 musicians and dancers – including a marching band and choir – into her detailed set, which also included guest spots from Jay-Z, Solange and her former Destiny's Child members.
Following her second headlining Coachella set, the vocalist announced a partnership with Google's charitable arm, Google.org, providing four additional scholarships. The company matched the singer's original $100,00 grant, designating $25,000 for students at Texas Southern University (located in Beyoncé's home city, Houston), Nashville's Fisk University (the alma mater of the vocalist's father, Mathew Knowles), Louisiana's Grambling State University and Atlanta's Morehouse College – all HBCUs.
Maab Ibrahim, a Google.org program manager, praised the "vital" educational role of HBCUs in a statement about the partnership. "In the last several years, Google has launched innovative programs to close the distance between Silicon Valley and HBCUs," she wrote. "We are proud to continue that commitment by matching Beyoncé’s generous donation."