GSU ranked in top 5 of ongoing HBCU competition


Sitting amongst the top five historically black colleges and universities, Grambling State University has taken the extra mile, using its media outlets to promote Allstate’s nationwide competition with The Tom Joyner Foundation.

The university is aiming to win $50,000 in a national Allstate insurance contest. The HBCU with the most online votes by the end of November wins the pot. In the first few weeks, Grambling State has been among the top five vote-getters, sometimes at number five, other times at number three.

As state funding continues to decline, President Frank G. Pogue and his administration have been working to find other ways to support the institution. This contest is consistent with his efforts to raise awareness about the need for more scholarship donations, and he’s reminding university supporters to do their part.

“With state funds dwindling, we can use all the help we can get, and this would be wonderful way to help us help our students,” said Pogue. “I encourage everyone to vote daily, even on the weekends.”

Using his social media to get students’ attention, Student Government Association President Jordan Harvey has been informing students about the contest’s details and how to go vote online. Harvey said he’s primarily using Instagram, sharing screenshots of his own online votes, as he encourages students to use whatever social media they use.

“A majority of the student body uses social media,” said Harvey, a senior business major. “What better ways to get their attention, raise the awareness, and get the word around than using the Internet?”

On Aug. 1, voting began for the Allstate and the Tom Joyner Foundation’s fifth annual initiative called “Quotes for Education.” The initiative’s purpose is to help students complete their college education by providing financial assistants through scholarship funds.

The last day for everyone to vote is Nov. 30 at 11:59 p.m., and Harvey pans to remind the student body to participate daily in this great opportunity for students.

Participants can go online at to vote. In order for votes to count, voters must select Grambling State University under “vote” then confirm their e-mail addresses in their email accounts. Voting can be done online or on a mobile device by selecting Grambling State University then submitting a valid e-mail address. In order for votes to count, participants must go into their e-mail account and confirm their vote by clicking on the link provided by Allstate.

The university’s 50,000-watt radio station, 91.5-FM KGRM is announcing public service announcements to inform surrounding areas about the Allstate competition as the university seeks broad university and community support. Joyce Evans, general manager of the station, is thrilled to help Grambling students with financial assistance.

“This is a marvelous opportunity for our students to receive scholarships toward their college education,” said Evans, also known as “The Voice” of Grambling. “It is always good to bring any money to our institution.”

In 2009 the “Quotes for Education” initiative program was established to ease the financial burden on African-American college students and their families. This year, the partnership is shooting to have at least 15,000 people participate with the goal of raising at least $200,000 in scholarships for HBCU students. The foundation will keep $150,000 to distribute among HBCUs other than the winning HBCU.

In addition to voting online, participants can also get an insurance quote from Allstate by proving a valid email address and zip code; however, the competition does not require them to get insurance. In response, Allstate will donate $10 to the foundation for every quote submitted. No one is required to buy Allstate insurance to participate, to get a quote or to vote.

According to acting public relations director Will Sutton, 68 percent of students at GSU receive various types of financial aid so winning the contest would be “a huge benefit for our students.”

Houston native DeJanae Adams is one of those students. After hearing about the initiative, she has started to tell her friends and family outside of Grambling to participate in the competition.

“A lot of people do not understand the struggles students go through just to make it,” said Adams, 25, “That is why many of my friends don’t go to college, because they can’t afford it.”