ABINGDON, Va., July 11, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Alpha Natural Resources, Inc. (NYSE: ANR), one of the nation's leading coal suppliers, recently awarded renewable tuition funding to 49 high school graduates in six states via its High School Scholarship Program.
This year's scholarship winners are slated collectively to receive up to $85,500 during the upcoming academic year, with approximately $322,000 expected to be invested over the next four years.
The Abingdon, Va.-based company's long-range plan is to provide higher-education scholarship assistance to up to 500 high school students over the next decade, representing an estimated $4 million commitment on the part of Alpha.
"We are pleased to award Alpha scholarships to this truly outstanding group of 49 high school students," says Kevin Crutchfield, Alpha's CEO. "Their accomplishments to date presage future academic and career success. Encouraging young people to achieve their highest potential, while assisting with the financial burden of higher education is the goal of our scholarship program. We congratulate each of this year's recipients."
The program, founded in 2009, is one of the largest high school scholarship programs in the mining industry. The initiative provides annual renewable academic funding in four categories to outstanding high school graduates attending the 150 high schools located in Alpha's geographic footprint, which includes Western Pennsylvania, Eastern Kentucky, Southwest Virginia, Northeast Tennessee, West Virginia and Wyoming.
Alpha's High School Scholarship Program strengthens the company's already-strong tradition of supporting academic performance and scholarship at the higher-education level. Since 2003, the company has donated approximately $1.7 million to college foundations, most of which has been used for scholarship purposes.
High school students in Alpha's six-state geographic footprint are eligible to apply for four types of tuition funding, all of which can be renewed annually for four years of study if recipients maintain an acceptable academic record.
The program consists of the following scholarship categories:
Students can apply for and receive more than one scholarship if they meet the specified eligibility and performance criteria.
Alpha's High School Scholarship Program is administered by Scholarship America, the nation's largest private-sector scholarship and educational support organization. Recipients are chosen based on several factors, including their academic record, demonstrated leadership and participation in school and community activities, unusual personal or family circumstances and outside appraisals. For scholarships to be renewed annually, winning students are expected to maintain a 2.5 grade point average (on a 4.0 scale).
Any questions about the Alpha High School Scholarship Program should be directed to Alpha Natural Resources' Manager of Recruiting, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
About Alpha Natural Resources
Alpha Natural Resources is one of America's premier coal suppliers with coal production capacity of greater than 120 million tons a year. Alpha is the nation's leading supplier and exporter of metallurgical coal used in the steel-making process and is a major supplier of thermal coal to electric utilities and manufacturing industries across the country. The Company, through its affiliates, employs approximately 14,000 people and operates more than 150 mines and 40 coal preparation facilities in Appalachia and the Powder River Basin. More information about Alpha can be found on the Company's Web site at www.alphanr.com.
SOURCE Alpha Natural Resources, Inc.