Obama’s alma mater launches scholarship in his name

Barack ObamaBarack Hussein ObamaWe must eliminate nuclear weapons, but a 'No First Use' Policy is not the answer Building back a better vice presidency Jill Biden unveils traditional White House holiday décor MORE's alma mater is launching a scholarship program named for the former president. 

Occidental College in Los Angeles on Wednesday announced the creation of the Barack Obama Scholars Program, which will provide full tuition to two students beginning in fall 2018. After that, the program will expand to include 20 scholarships. 

The program will recruit students from all backgrounds, but will have a special focus on community-college transfers, first-generation college students and veterans, according to a statement issued by the school.

"My years at Occidental College sparked my interest in social and political causes, and filled me with the idea that my voice could make a difference,” Obama said in a statement.


“That’s why I’m so humbled by the Barack Obama Scholars Program at Oxy, and proud of its mission to identify promising young people from all backgrounds – with an emphasis on first-generation students, our veterans, and community college transfers – not only to give them access to higher education, but to train the next generation of leaders and active citizens, and fill them with the conviction that they too can change the world.”

Occidental has so far raised $7 million for the program. 

In addition to covering students' tuition, the program will also provide recipients with mentoring from faculty and the program's advisory council, which includes alumni, former administration officials and even friends of Obama. 

Obama attended Occidental after graduating from high school, but eventually transferred to Columbia University in New York to finish his bachelor's degree.