Grammy Award–winning singer Rihanna, a native of Barbados, is known as one of the hardest-working women in show business. So it may come as no surprise that she wants to help some hard-working students get ahead.
Rihanna took to Instagram earlier in May to announce she’s launching a new college scholarship program through her Clara Lionel Foundation to help international and U.S. students attend college in the United States.
To apply, students must be residents of Barbados, Brazil, Cuba, Haiti, Grenada, Guyana, Jamaica or the U.S. and already be accepted by an accredited four-year U.S. college or university for the 2016–2017 academic year.
“To be able to give the gift of an education is actually an honor,” Rihanna told USA Today. “Higher education will help provide perspective, opportunities and learning to a group of kids who really deserve it. I am thrilled to be able to do this.”
Rihanna’s program could boost Caribbean representation at U.S. schools. Fewer than 300 students from Barbados and only 94 Cuban students attended U.S. colleges during the 2014–2015 school year, according to the nonprofit Institute of International Education.
The pop superstar’s needs-based program will award scholarships ranging from $5,000 to $50,000, which may be renewed until grantees earn a bachelor’s degree. Applications are open until June 10, 2016. Winners will be announced in August.
Robyn “Rihanna” Fenty established the foundation in 2012. The organization, named for her grandparents, Clara and Lionel Braithwaite, provides funding to global programs that promote health, education, arts and culture.