Livingstone College awards full scholarships to Brockton High students

BROCKTON — At least 28 students at Brockton High School received on-the-spot acceptance letters and full-ride scholarships to Livingstone College, one of 10 historically Black colleges or universities in North Carolina, on Wednesday morning.

Livingstone College President Anthony Davis and his team visited the high school Wednesday, where they surprised over 200 students with free applications to the historically Black, Christian college that would be reviewed and could be accepted on site, along with fully paid, presidential scholarships.

“I’ve never walked into an auditorium and got accepted into college,” said BHS senior Aniyha Hill, who received the first acceptance letter of the day. “I wasn’t expecting all that. I’m very thankful.”

Hill said she’s hoping to attend an HBCU next school year to study biology, and she was already planning to apply to Livingstone.

A total of 36 BHS students submitted applications, with eight students’ applications still pending approval while their transcripts are delivered from international schools. All students were required to have a GPA of at least 2.5 to qualify. Students with a GPA of 3.5 or higher were automatically eligible for a full scholarship.

“This is fantastic,” said BHS Principal Kevin McCaskill. “It’s opening up opportunities for future students, they are laying the groundwork. This is simply amazing.”

Livingstone College is a small liberal arts college with a 73% acceptance rate that was founded in 1879. According to Davis, more than 6,000 students apply to the college every year, and of the ones who are accepted roughly 400 enroll.

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Anthony Brooks, vice president of enrollment management at Livingstone, said the school retains 78% of students from their freshman year to their sophomore year, and has a graduation rate of 25%, although many students transfer to other colleges before graduation.

Davis awarded most of the accepted students with presidential scholarships that will fully fund the students’ tuition and can be renewed all four years.

“I didn’t have enough money to pay for college,” said Dimonika Bray, a BHS senior and one of the accepted students. “I’m in disbelief. This is so unexpected.”

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Bray said she’s received “a bunch of acceptance letters” from colleges like UMass Boston and felt relieved she could potentially attend college without asking her family for help.

“We don’t have the income for it,” said Brockton senior Celestin Ocelitho. “It’s very helpful for us because some of us are immigrants.”

“I want to go where opportunities aren’t plentiful,” Davis said. “I want to go to the neighborhoods where I grew up…where students look like me.”

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Davis spent his childhood in foster care until he aged out of the foster care system, and said he almost became homeless at age 17. Now, he’s the first Livingstone alumni to serve as the college’s president in over 50 years.

“Education is the key that unlocks the door to the middle class and beyond,” Davis said.


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