It’s been a week since the shockwave of Michael Jackson’s passing has rippled through the world. Thankfully for even the smallest fans, Jackson’s legacy lives on through his incredible music. While he’ll always be remembered as one of the most iconic singers and performers of all time, he’ll also be remembered as a generous humanitarian who shared much of his wealth with those who needed it most.
One remarkable contribution was made to the United Negro College Fund (UNCF) in 1986, a $1.5 million donation that went to establish a scholarship endowment in Jackson’s name. In 1988, Jackson made a subsequent donation, by giving all of the $600,000 proceeds from a Madison Square Garden benefit concert to the fund.
The fund was created to offer financial assistance to African-American students attending one of UNCF’s 40 member historically black colleges or universities. Since its inception, more than 500 students attending 39 member schools have received the Michael Jackson Scholarship.
Requirements for this scholarship include:
- Undergraduate students attending a UNCF member college or university
- Major in Communications, English or Performing Arts
- Minimum 3.0 GPA
- Must submit the FAFSA and accept financial aid
The award varies, but can be up to $4,000 per student. Recipients may use these funds to pay for tuition, room and board, books, or to pay federal student loans.
This fund perpetually renews, thanks to foresight on Jackson’s part. The interest of this fund pays the scholarships each year, while the original investment continues to earn interest allowing UNCF to offer more aspiring students awards each year.
This fall, another 34 students will be named recipients of the Michael Jackson Scholarship.
See more information about the Michael Jackson Scholarship.