The college of former US President Barack Obama has announced that from 2018 it will run a scholarship programme named in his honour.
The Barack Obama Scholars Program launched by the Los Angeles-based liberal arts school Occidental College will focus on students who are veterans, transferring from community colleges, and those who are first in their family to attend college.
The 20 students chosen to be Obama Scholars will also “demonstrate outstanding academic achievement” and a “commitment to the public good.”
Oxy College, as it is affectionately known, will offer a loan-free financial package which includes tuition, room, board, books and other expenses like travel for a period of four years.
While Obama is more famously an alumnus of the Ivy League schools Harvard and Columbia University, the ex-president says that a political science class at Occidental “sparked [his] general interest in politics.” He attended the school for the first two years of his undergraduate studies.
Oxy College president Jonathan Veitch says the Obama Scholars Program will “foster and cultivate the next generation of leadership.”
Students may take any field of study and the college says the programme will “provide students with the opportunity to pursue a path both academically and beyond the classroom that supports their ambition to make a difference.”
“Obama Scholars will benefit from the same educational mission — excellence, equity, community and service — that the President has cited as crucial to his own development,” Occidental’s website said.
“After Oxy, I hope to find a career in service-based advocacy, focusing on helping the underrepresented, and in a perfect world, running a non-profit that would help veterans transition back into civilian life,” said Cameron Peters, one of the inaugural Obama Scholars in 2018.