by Morgan Eichensehr

The National Collegiate Athletic Association has awarded Morgan State University a $887,700 grant to support academic programs that help student-athletes graduate on time.

The funds are part of more $3.1 million awarded by the NCAA to nine universities as part of its Accelerating Academic Success Program. Comprehensive Grant. Morgan State is one of six historically black colleges and universities to receive the funding.

The grant will be distributed over a three-year period and will be used to support the university’s efforts to meet the requirements of the Division I Academic Performance Program. The program is designed to ensure schools support positive academic environments alongside their athletic programs and help student-athletes earn a degree. Universities can use the funds to increase academic services staffing and space, for technology upgrades, for career planning and professional development and to increase availability of summer financial aid for student-athletes.

Morgan State’s athletics department added a new director of academics for the football program as well as a new assistant athletic director for student services.

Edward Scott, director of intercollegiate athletics for Morgan State, said the grant will enable the school’s athletic department to “support infrastructure that our student-athletes deserve.” He said the money will go toward four areas of focus: hiring staff, providing summer and winter classes, technology upgrades and professional development for athletics department staff and others across campus.

“The University is thoroughly invested in preparing our scholar-athletes for the future by helping them achieve success on and off the fields of play,” Morgan State President David Wilson said in a statement. “These funds will assist us in building on the recent advancement in our graduation statistics, strengthening our position in this effort.”

Schools eligible to apply for the NCAA grant program can request a maximum of $300,000 per year for three years. After that, participating schools are required to match grant dollars each year of the program, with direct funds in-kind contributions — they must commit a 25 percent match in the first year, 50 percent in year two and 75 percent in year three.

This round of Accelerating Academic Success Program awards mark the fifth round of funding distributed by the NCAA.

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