Over the past five years, Amtrak, in partnership with the United Negro College Fund, has awarded more than 500 travel scholarships to deserving college students at 28 Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU).
“The scholarship came at a time of particular stress for my family,” said Robert L. Glover III, a sophomore at Morehouse College in Atlanta. “I shudder to think of all those lonely holidays and joyless weekends I would have endured if the scholarship had never been created. This fund is much more than a scholarship. It is a sturdy bridge that connects college students with their families. It would be disastrous to think the scholarship did not exist, and struggling college students had to fend for themselves,” Glover added.
Amtrak provides up to 140 travel scholarships per year to students attending 28 HBCUs across the country. The Amtrak Travel Scholarship allows selected students the opportunity to travel to any destination served by Amtrak.
“Amtrak is all about making connections,” said Darlene Abubakar, director of National Advertising at Amtrak. “The Amtrak Travel Scholarships help students connect home, and school while using Amtrak. The program also serves as an introduction to the benefits of train travel as students begin their careers beyond school.”
“As a student from the west coast, coast to coast travel planning is both very expensive and frustrating,” said Madoree Pipkins of Benedict College in Columbia, SC. “Amtrak’s support has kept me from worrying so much about the cost of transportation for fall, winter, and summer breaks. I truly value my education, and this Amtrak program has afforded me the opportunity to continue to travel home for breaks while I pursue my education.”
Applications are available on the UNCF website at www.uncf.org and at financial aid offices. Five students from each school will be awarded travel stipends through the financial aid department based on financial need and academic achievement. Recipients of the scholarships must have a minimum grade point average of 2.5 on a 4.0 scale and be a full-time student.
“The Amtrak Travel Scholars Program has made a lasting impression in the investment of my future,” said Jasmi Brown, a Dillard University sophomore from Houston, TX. “This was my first time riding on the train and it was truly amazing. The attendants and staff were accommodating. I had room to move around and sleep comfortably. I’m looking forward to the next time I ride Amtrak,” she added.
Participating schools include:
Allen University Columbia, SC
Bennett College Greensboro, NC
Bethune-Cookman College Daytona Beach, FL
Bowie State College Bowie, MD
Cheyney State University Cheyney PA
Claflin University Orangeburg, SC
Clark Atlanta University Atlanta, GA
Delaware State University Dover, DE
Dillard University New Orleans, LA
Edward Waters College Jacksonville, FL
Hampton University Newport News, VA
Howard University Washington, DC
Johnson C. Smith University Charlotte, NC
Lane College Jacksonville, FL
Lemoyne-Owen College Memphis, TN
Lincoln University (PA) Lincoln, PA
Morehouse College Atlanta, GA
Philander Smith College Little Rock, AR
Savannah State University Savannah, GA
Shaw University Raleigh, NC
Southern University A&M College Baton Rouge, LA
Spelman College Atlanta, GA
Tougaloo College Jackson, MS
Virginia State University Petersburg, VA
Virginia Union University Richmond, VA
Wiley College Marshall, TX
Winston-Salem State University Winston-Salem, NC
Xavier University New Orleans, LA
Amtrak has posted six consecutive years of growth in ridership and revenue, carrying more than 28.7 million passengers in the last fiscal year. Amtrak provides intercity passenger rail service to more than 500 destinations in 46 states on a 21,000-mile route system.
For schedules, fares and information, passengers may call 800-USA-RAIL