PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – Temple University is giving scholarships to some of its immediate neighbors.

Today, on the first day of classes, it welcomed the new students to campus.

The university has created 250 four-year scholarships to be awarded over 10 years to students in the four zip codes of North Philadelphia immediately surrounding its main campus.

Temple president Ann Weaver Hart (at lectern in photo) says it’s an effort to recruit and graduate its neighbors, to increase the number of Philadelphians with college degrees.

“We needed to find ways to make it more accessible,” she told KYW Newsradio today.

Twenty-two incoming freshman from 16 different public schools and one parochial school were the first recipients.

“The scholarship program is amazing, because when you go to college you’ve got to think about the financial part of it,” says 18-year-old Verishia Coaxum.

The scholarships, $5,000 per year, will help meet need not covered by financial aid.

Reported by Steve Tawa, KYW Newsradio 1060

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