Mary J. Blige Launches ‘Strength Of A Woman’ Scholarship At Hampton University

R&B Soul superstar Mary J. Blige has launched her “Strength Of A Woman” scholarship this week for Hampton University students.

Applications for the academic scholarship are due on Oct. 16 and are available for women-identifying sophomores at the private Virginia HBCU. It seeks to empower women studying at the University and enable them to successfully finish their degree through financial and communitive aid.

According to Blavity, the “Strength Of A Woman” scholarship was inspired by the 52-year-old Bronx natives’ 2017 album and the Lifetime movie adapted from it. The scholarship recipients will be awarded $30,000 annually and can renew the tuition funds annually until they earn their bachelor’s degree in their last three years. 

Hampton University’s tuition is $29,312, including fees. This does not include housing, school supplies, or books.

The only exclusionary stipulations to be awarded Blige’s “Strength Of A Woman” scholarship are to maintain a satisfactory academic performance, defined as an average 2.5 GPA on a standard 4.0 scale, and remain a full-time student with an eligible major at Hampton. 

The scholarship was created in collaboration with PepsiCo. The application requirements state that the applicant must be a self-identified woman, be a sophomore at Hampton University, or plan to enroll as a sophomore during the 2024—2025 school year. Applicants must have a 2.5 GPA and have declared a major in Business Administration, Marketing, Arts, Finance, or Creative Design.

PepsiCo employees or children of company employees can’t apply. The students selected for the scholarship are picked on the conditions of former academic record, demonstrated leadership, participation in meaningful extracurricular activities, and prior work experience, along with a statement about their educational and future career goals.

Blige has often spoken of her own educational struggles. “When I was in 11th grade, I dropped out of high school. I definitely regret it,” she said in one interview. She went on to earn her GED and, in 2010, told Good Morning America that she had dreams of studying at Howard University.

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