PITTSBURG — The Pittsburg State University Office of Admission announced today the creation of the Gorilla Promise Award for May 2020 graduates of all Crawford County high schools to defray the cost of their first year of higher education.

The award will be in the amount of $1,000, or $500 per semester, a release from PSU said.

In order to qualify, students must be admitted to PSU, graduate from a Crawford County Kansas high school, and be a full-time degree seeking student. Applications for scholarships may be completed at pittstate.edu/admission.

While this is currently a one-year award, the university continues to look for ways to help students further their education beyond high school.

“Our goal is to give our local students an opportunity to be a part of Gorilla Nation and reduce their college costs,” said Director of Admission Scott Donaldson in a release. “We are committed to keeping our local kids local and are doing our part to help them advance their education while not going deep into debt.”

Graduates of Crawford County high schools also are eligible to receive Pritchett Trust scholarships in the amount of $500, or $250 per semester, their first year of college; last year, the trust awarded $50,000 to incoming freshmen.

“Over a lifetime, a college graduate earns around $1 million more than a non-graduate, and our goal is to ensure everyone in our region has that opportunity,” said PSU President Steve Scott in a release. “We’re continuing to do all we can to remove the cost barrier to earning a college degree.”

That includes requesting no tuition increase for the 2019-20 academic year, which was approved by the Kansas Board of Regents, and expanding the in-state tuition rates to bordering states.

Potential students are responding. Unprecedented numbers of high school students attended Rumble in the Jungle last fall, a recruitment event hosted by the Office of Admission that included tours, an academic and student services showcase, and free attendance at the football game. A spring Rumble in the Jungle is planned for April 2; registration may be completed at https://admission.pittstate.edu/visit-campus.html