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CJ McCollum is teaming up with College Beyond, a New Orleans-based organization dedicated to college access and success. The McCollum Scholars Program is designed to provide financial, socio-emotional, and academic support to low-income high school students in Orleans Parish who aspire to pursue a bachelor's degree.

Why the partnership with College Beyond?

Founded by local public school educators, College Beyond aims to bridge the gap in college degree attainment for Pell-eligible students. In its eight-year history, College Beyond has guided more than 1200 students through college, boosting degree attainment by 43%. This partnership will allow students to dream big and afford a college degree.


The McCollum Scholars program will provide 10 Pell-eligible New Orleans high school students with a need-based scholarship of up to $80,000 over four years(or up to $20,000 per year) towards completing their four-year college degree. Any remaining funds will be reallocated towards McCollum Scholars’ school/career-preparation-related expenses.

At College Beyond, we firmly believe that college choice significantly influences one's success in higher education. This scholarship is designed not only to alleviate financial barriers to obtaining a college degree but also to assist students in identifying and selecting institutions that will enable them to flourish and pursue their aspirations. We’ve designed a program that will allow participants the opportunity to embark on college tours and receive guidance throughout the application process, ensuring they can present their best selves. Engaging in a cohort during their senior year, students will continue to receive support throughout their four years in college, ensuring academic, social, and financial success. Lastly, students will receive career preparation to ensure a smooth transition into the workforce for students. At College Beyond, we understand that our commitment doesn't stop at providing access to college. We're dedicated to supporting our students for the long haul. From initial access to ongoing support—To.Through.Together.

I want to provide students with the resources they need to think outside the box about what they can achieve in their lives and achieve!”

- cj mccollum

Who Qualifies for McCollum Scholars?


Eligibility Criteria

Current High School Junior in Orleans Parish:
Applicants must be a current high school junior attend a high school in Orleans Parish or reside in Orleans Parish.

Financial Need: Priority will be given to students whose household income falls below 200% of the poverty line, as well as those who qualify for government assistance programs such as SNAP, housing subsidies, disability, and/or free or reduced lunch.

Academic Excellence: Applicants should demonstrate a strong academic track record with a minimum GPA of 3.0.

Leadership & Community Engagement: Students should exhibit a robust history of leadership roles and active participation in community engagement initiatives.


How To


Application Requirements

Completed Application

One Letter of Recommendation (from teacher, community member, mentor, or family member)

High School Transcript

Standardized Testing (highest ACT or SAT scores)

Proof of Financial Need (letter proving FRL status, tax documents, students who received the application or ACT waiver or in Upward Bound would qualify


Application Process

January 15, 2023: Scholarship Launches

February 23, 2024: Application Deadline

March 4-15, 2024: Semi-Finalists selected, Phone Interviews

March 25-29, 2024: Finalists selected, In-Person Interviews

April 5th, 2024: Scholars Selected

Scholars Support


Scholars Support Services Timeline

April 2024:
Scholars Selected

Summer 2024:
College Tours Personal
Statement Writing
Resume Review
Common Application Support

Fall 2024:
Individualized College Advising
Submit College Applications
Financial Aid Support

Spring 2025:
University Selection

Fall 2025-Spring 2027:
1-1 Coaching
Emergency Funding

Spring 2027- 2029:
Career Advising Support
Resume Writing
Interview Prep
Internship Placement


Frequently Asked


Do transcripts and standardized test scores need to be official?

Students can initially submit unofficial grades and test scores but will be required to provide official scores and grades if selected as a McCollum Scholar.

What if I haven’t taken a standardized test yet?

You're not obligated to submit standardized test scores if you haven't taken the test. Simply indicate in your application your planned date for the next test.

How do I submit my test scores?

You can download the score report from the testing website and upload it to your application platform.

How will McCollum Scholars be selected?

The selection process involves reviewing academic performance, leadership skills, and community dedication. Semi-finalists will undergo a virtual interview process from February 5th to February 16th. Finalists will be invited for an in-person interview between February 19th and February 21st.

How do I know if I meet the financial qualifications?

This scholarship is intended for low-income scholars attending high school in Orleans Parish. In this area, low income is defined as a household income of $62,700 or below for a family of four. Qualification extends to families receiving government assistance like Section Eight, SNAP benefits, and/or free or reduced lunch.