Florida A&M University’s Graduate Feeder Scholars program has been a direct pipeline for the school’s high-achieving students since 1987, according to the university’s website. The program is open to any major to attend nationally renowned universities to pursue a graduate degree at no cost.
The program was founded by then- President Frederick Humphries. His goal was to reverse the decline in the number of minorities receiving advanced degrees, especially doctorates.
The program started with 12 institutions but expanded over the years to more than 40 by the late ’90s.
India Woods, who serves as a liaison for the program, said that it provides many opportunities for FAMU students.
“The program provides academic and professional development opportunities, networking opportunities, opportunities for campus visitations, eligible for funds to potentially pay for the entire graduate program, up to three waivers for partner institutions, and a chance to revive the Dr. David Jackson Jr. Research Award and Test Prep Program Scholarship,” Woods said.
Students in the program are required to submit assignments, which are the documents needed to apply for graduate school such as: statement of purpose, resume, and writing sample. Students attend mandatory workshops in order to have these items completed by the deadlines.
If the workshops are not attended, and the assignments aren’t turned in, then the students aren’t inducted into the program. However, they do have the chance to join the program the following semester, and keep record of what they have already accomplished for the requirements.
Maya Williams, a journalism major and graduating senior, joined the program but was unable to finish because of a scheduling conflict with the workshops, not to mention her busy senior schedule. She thinks it would have been more helpful if the mandatory workshops aligned better within students’ schedules.
“For students pursuing the program, I think the workshops should be embedded within their schedules,” Williams said. “If I would have known more about the program, I would have completed it in the spring when I had more downtime versus my last semester in undergrad.”
Despite not being able to complete the program, Williams believes it’s still a great opportunity for other students.
“The Graduate Feeder program is a great program because it allows students to continue their education,” Williams said. “I think there should be more awareness surrounding the program and all it has to offer its students.”
Some of the institutions with graduate schools affiliated with the program include Ivy League schools such as Cornell University and top 20 public institutions such as University of Florida and Florida State University.
Woods may by the program’s No. 1 advocate. “The Graduate Feeder Scholars program is important because it allows students to enhance their knowledge on academic and professional tools while preparing for graduate school and the application process,” she said.
To receive more information about the program, visit https://graduateschool.famu.edu/index.php