RUSTON, La. (AP) — An international tax firm has created a $250,000 scholarship fund to help students at a historically Black Louisiana university get a master’s degree in accounting from a nearby school, officials announced Wednesday.
All of the money donated by Deloitte Tax LLP will be used for tuition and graduate assistantships for Grambling State University students in Louisiana Tech's business school, Tech said.
“These initial funds from Deloitte will provide full support for 15 Grambling students participating through 2025,” school spokeswoman LeAnne Waldroup said in an email.
The company sees it as a way to help diversify and increase the regional workforce, Stephen Metoyer, a Tech grad who is now chief diversity, equity and inclusion officer at Deloitte Tax, said in a news release from Louisiana Tech.
“It is our earnest hope that many graduates of this program will go on to become tomorrow’s leaders of the accounting profession, fueling the long-term change we are seeking,” he added.
The two schools, which are about 5 miles (8 kilometers) apart, signed an agreement a year ago so Grambling students can get a degree not available through their own school. However, scholarships awarded through one public university in Louisiana can't be used at another, so the Grambling students had to find tuition money for Tech, Wednesday's news release said.
Before the gift announced Wednesday, Tech alumni had funded scholarships and graduate assistantships for Grambling students enrolled in Tech's College of Business for the master's program, the news release said.
The new fund's investments will provide graduate assistantships and pay up to nine hours of undergraduate tuition and up to 30 hours of graduate tuition at Louisiana Tech, the statement said.
Donald White, dean of Grambling’s College of Business, said the gift will help generations of accounting students.
“We are thrilled our students have the opportunity to pursue (master's in accounting) courses while still enrolled at Grambling, giving them a decided edge while preparing for the CPA exam and ultimately earning a master's from the esteemed Louisiana Tech,” he said.
Chris Martin, dean of Louisiana Tech’s College of Business, said, "We look forward to expanding this model to other HBCUs in the future to continue to increase diversity of thought and opportunities in the accounting profession.”