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Monroe College,  a New York-based college with campuses in the Bronx, New Rochelle and St. Lucia, has offered scholarships to St. Vincent and the Grenadines to help 50 Vincentians become the first members of their families to graduate from a college. 

The programme, which has been implemented across the Caribbean, was launched on Monday during a ceremony in Villa. 

President of Monroe College Mark Jerome said Monroe College ranks as one of the leading institutions in North America for empowering students from modest backgrounds and this has garnered recognition for its transformative impact on families from diverse backgrounds, particularly through its first-generation scholarship programmes.

Minister of Finance Camillo Gonsalves said the implementation of first-generation scholarships in SVG signifies a collaborative effort between Monroe College and the Government and augments the country’s thrust in advancing the education revolution. 

The forum was attended by Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Transport, Montgomery Daniel, and other senior public servants.

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Meanwhile, Prime Minister Ralph Gonsalves on Wednesday urged young people to take advantage of the scholarships.

Gonsalves said on NBC Radio on Wednesday that for students pursuing undergraduate studies at Monroe College’s St. Lucia Campus, there is an EC$4,000 grant from the Government and an EC$3,118 grant from the college, which covers tuition.

For graduate students, there is an EC$5,000 grant from the government and EC$3,225 from Monroe College. 

For those students pursuing studies at the Campus in New York, US$5,000 is made available from the government while the college will contribute US$3,961. 

There is also a US$1,750 housing and meal plan for those students who live on campus.

Gonsalves said it is important that young people who wish to pursue higher education get the information needed so they do not miss opportunities.

“A number of persons, young persons in particular, some of them do not pay attention to matters touching and concerning their post-Community College career. They want to go to university but they don’t address the details including the financing arrangements and applications they have to make where and opportunities available,” he said.