(CBS46) - The Atlanta HBCU Alumni Alliance is offering scholarships to help students affected by the pandemic. 

The coronavirus forced colleges nationwide to shutdown campuses early and left many students struggling to find off-campus housing or money to help them return to their hometowns.

The alliance is working to fill that gap by offering $250 scholarships to students who live in Atlanta and attend any HBCU in the U.S., including those here in Atlanta like Morris Brown College, the Interdenominational Theological Center, and Clark Atlanta University.

HBCU college students from metro Atlanta are encouraged to apply for one of the scholarships here.

The scholarship is funded by the alliance’s new COVID-19 student emergency grant, named after the late Atlanta restaurateur and HBCU alumni Mike Murrell.

Murrell, who owned Murrell’s Café, died from COVID-19 in April.

Alliance president Daniel Ford said Murrell was a longtime supporter.

“Mike was always a huge supporter of HBCUs, and an even bigger supporter of students who attended HBCUs so providing this grant in his name to assist students impacted by COVID-19 is the least we could do to honor his memory and service to HBCUs,” Ford said.

The alliance is raising money for the grant through its annual 5K summer race. The race is now virtual and will run June 26 – July 3. The alliance will match the funds raised by the race and donate to the COVID-19 emergency relief fund.

Scholarships will be distributed upon confirmation of enrollment for the 2020 fall semester

Since its inception 15 years ago, the alliance has raised more than $1.4 million in scholarships.

To register for the race, click here.

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