Demise of Philadelphia Scholarship Program That Benefited College-Bound Blacks

In 2003 Congressman Chaka Fattah of Philadelphia created the College Opportunity Resources for Education (CORE) Philly Scholarship program. The program offered scholarships of up to $3,000 to any high school graduate in the city who attended a state-operated university in Pennsylvania. Since 2003 more than $24 million in scholarships were awarded. Now the scholarship program has come to an abrupt end.

Originally the city of Philadelphia committed $4 million each year to the scholarship fund. Not all the money was used. Funds left over went into an endowment fund for future scholarships. Congressman Fattah had announced his intention to raise $200 million for this endowment fund so that contributions from the city’s taxpayers would no longer be necessary. But only $5 million has been raised.

The current budget crunch has forced the city to end its contribution to the CORE program and Congressman Fattah came to the conclusion that the program could not survive without the city’s support. He plans to use the money still left in the endowment to fund one more year of the CORE Philly scholarships and then he will end the program.