ATLANTA—The Coca-Cola Foundation has awarded Georgia State University a $2.6 million grant to expand the Coca-Cola First Generation Scholarship program by funding scholarships and initiatives to help with student retention and increase study-abroad opportunities.
“Being a national model of student success begins with providing Georgia State students, many of whom are first-generation college students, with the support and resources they need to thrive and graduate,” said Mark P. Becker, president of Georgia State. “The Coca-Cola Foundation’s support will help more students transform their lives through higher education.”
The Coca-Cola First Generation Scholarship program at Georgia State started in 2011 with a five-year, $1.3 million award that provided merit-based four-year scholarships to students who were the first in their families to attend college. Funding also supported the university’s freshman learning communities and other services to help students succeed and remain on a path to graduation.
With the program’s record of success, The Coca-Cola Foundation has doubled its total commitment to $2.6 million over the next four years. The grant will provide 60 students with $5,000 Coca-Cola First Generation scholarships at the Atlanta campus and 60 students with two-year $2,500 annual scholarships at Perimeter College. Also included in the award are funds to support first-year programming for service learning and cultural experiences to enhance student success and retention.
The Coca-Cola Foundation grant also provides $50,000 per year over four years to Georgia State’s Keep HOPE Alive program, a rigorous academic rehabilitation plan to help students retain HOPE scholarships. More than 60 percent of the students enrolled in the program were able to continue as HOPE scholarship recipients. With this new funding, 200 students over the next four years will be able to participate in the Keep HOPE Alive program.
“We believe in the ripple effect education creates in building lives and sustaining communities,” said Helen Smith Price, president of The Coca-Cola Foundation. “We are proud to expand our partnership with Georgia State University and to help make college a reality for first-generation college students.”
The foundation’s grant also will start the second phase of The Coca-Cola Global Ambassador Scholarship Program. Georgia State’s Center for International Business and Research in the Robinson College of Business will oversee the program to help students acquire global competency through study abroad opportunities.