McDonald’s® USA and Media Entrepreneur Roland S. Martin Announce Scholarship to Help HBCU Students on the Path to Graduation

January 19, 2022

More than $100K in scholarship funds available for eligible HBCU upperclassmen—applications now open at

(CHICAGO) Jan. 19, 2022 – McDonald’s USA and Roland S. Martin, a lifetime member of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc., are awarding more than $100,000 in scholarships to rising juniors and seniors attending Historically Black Colleges & Universities (HBCUs). The effort, in honor of the fraternity’s 115 years of scholarship and Black excellence, is to help address the often-insurmountable financial challenges faced by HBCU students attempting to fund a four-year college education.

Data shows that on average, scholarships and grants only cover 25% of the total cost of college per year and often scholarships for HBCU students are centered on transitioning them from high school to college. For upperclassmen, the rising costs of tuition and growing loan debt paired with the limited scholarship funds offered for this group can make it financially difficult to graduate.

“HBCUs and their students are vital to the fabric of our nation and I will always champion for their success,” said Roland S. Martin. “I’ve witnessed first-hand the financial struggle that impacts Black college students, especially those in their final semesters. So, I’m pleased to partner with McDonald’s and TMCF to celebrate my beloved fraternity, Alpha Phi Alpha, and provide a resource that will help Black students graduate.”

With the help of Thurgood Marshall College Fund (TMCF), seven rising juniors and seniors will be awarded $15,000 scholarships for the 2022-2023 academic year. In alignment with Alpha Phi Alpha’s century-long commitment to scholarship, McDonald’s continues its longstanding support of community, education and feeding and fostering community with this scholarship, which is additive to its existing Black & Positively Golden Scholarship program that awarded  $500,000 to HBCU students last year.

“We know the outstanding work being done at HBCUs, which is why our team is devoted to use our scale and resources to expand educational opportunities for Black students,” said Reginald J. Miller, Vice President and Global Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Officer at McDonald’s. “Our hope is that this scholarship effort helps build and support the pipeline of diverse talent that will go on to be changemakers in our society for decades to come.”

Applications are now available on the Thurgood Marshall College Fund website at Award winners will be announced prior to the start of the Fall 2022 semester. Students interested in applying must meet the following eligibility requirements:

  • Be 18 years or older
  • Be enrolled as a junior or senior at a TMCF member institution and private HBCUs in Fall 2022
  • Have a cumulative grade point average of 2.7 or higher
  • Submit a brief essay on how they demonstrate Black excellence and leadership within their campus community
  • Be a U.S. citizen or legal permanent resident with a valid permanent resident card or passport stamped I-551

In addition to the scholarship funds, recipients will also have the unique opportunity to engage one-on-one with McDonald’s executives currently working in their respective fields of study. This real-world learning opportunity will provide additional benefit to students as they plan for the next step into their professional careers.

“For more than two decades, we’ve worked with McDonald’s to provide critical resources to students when they need it most. Matriculating through college can be tough, and funds to support navigating that journey is a crucial part of ensuring graduation is attainable,” said Dr. Harry L. Williams, President and CEO of the Thurgood Marshall College Fund. “And we’re excited to extend our partnership with this scholarship to offer even more funds to HBCU students next year.”

This scholarship is just one of the many ways that McDonald’s continues to support its commitment to the Black community, building on brand initiatives that provide skills training, mentorship and education resources to support people who are building a path forward and achieving their goals. Since 2020, through strategic initiatives like the partnership with TMCF, the company and its owner/operators have awarded more than $1 million in scholarships to deserving HBCU students who are positioned to be the next generation of transformational leaders across business, STEM, politics, law, the arts, and a multitude of other careers.

For more information on the scholarship or to apply, visit For more information on McDonald’s commitment to uplifting the communities it serves, visit and @wearegolden.

 About McDonald's Education Efforts
HBCU scholarships are just one of many McDonald’s initiatives created to serve up bright futures and provide opportunity for education and skills in the communities we serve. These efforts also include additional scholarship opportunities through the Black & Positively Golden HBCU Scholarship Fund and the  Black & Positively Golden Mentors Program which provides up-and-coming talent with one-on-one coaching from esteemed industry leaders;  the HACER® Education Tour, which provides information to help navigate the college application process; support of the Boys & Girls Club of America's diplomas2Degrees program which familiarizes teens with post-secondary education opportunities; and the Archways to Opportunity program, which provides educational resources to eligible crew at participating U.S. restaurants. Together, with our Owner/Operators, we are committed to feeding and fostering our communities.

About McDonald's USA
McDonald's serves a variety of menu options made with quality ingredients to more than 25 million customers every day. Ninety-five percent of McDonald's 14,000 U.S. restaurants are independently owned and operated by businessmen and women. For more information, visit, or follow us on Instagram at @WeAreGolden and Facebook To learn more about the Black & Positively Golden initiative, visit

About Roland S. Martin 
Roland S. Martin is the host/managing editor of the daily digital show #RolandMartinUnfiltered, which attracts 20 million views a month across multiple platforms. A 4-time NAACP Image Award winner and a 2021 inductee into the National Association of Black Journalists Hall Of Fame, Martin is the CEO of Black Star Network, a hybrid over-the-top (OTT) media network that produces and delivers streaming content to global consumers engaged by the political, business and cultural insights and perspectives of Black thought leaders, influencers and opinion makers. For more information, go to

About the Thurgood Marshall College Fund
Established in 1987, the Thurgood Marshall College Fund (“TMCF”) is the nation’s largest organization exclusively representing the Black College Community. TMCF member-schools include the publicly-supported Historically Black Colleges and Universities and Predominantly Black Institutions, enrolling nearly 80% of all students attending black colleges and universities. Through scholarships, capacity building and research initiatives, innovative programs, and strategic partnerships, TMCF is a vital resource in the K-12 and higher education space. The organization is also the source of top employers seeking top talent for competitive internships and good jobs. TMCF is a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt, charitable organization. For more information about TMCF, visit

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