Rolling Out

Shaquille O’Neal launches scholarship for high school students

Shaq’s Try College scholarship allows high school students to take college business courses for free
Shaquille O'Neal
Shaquille O'Neal on the red carpet of his HBO docu-series "Shaq" premiere in Atlanta. (Photo credit: Rashad Milligan for rolling out)

In partnership with, NBA icon and prolific businessman Shaquille O’Neal has launched the Try College scholarship to provide high schoolers with a glimpse into higher education.

Through O’Neal’s Try College initiative, up to 500 high school students and recent graduates will have the opportunity to take business classes from top college professors this summer at no cost.

“What we’re seeing today is too many kids wondering if college is still worth it. These students either feel like they aren’t college material or believe the price tag is out of reach, and that’s a shame,” said O’Neal. “We believe everyone should have access to higher learning, and with that in mind, we’re making college classes available for free so that hundreds of students have the opportunity to show the world what they can do.”

Recent data indicates fewer students are enrolling in college this year, and overall sentiment toward higher education has dropped due to rising tuition costs and high unemployment. This partnership aims to reinvigorate students’ interest and trust in the college experience by giving them first-hand insight into those classrooms.

What students can expect

The first cohort of Shaq’s Try College partnership will allow 500 students to take a college course taught by faculty from top-tier colleges and universities nationwide. Classes include Introduction to Business Administration, taught by Todd Fitch from the University of California, Berkeley, and Principles of Microeconomics, taught by Deniz Baglan from Howard University, among others.

“We know that talent is everywhere, but too many talented students simply don’t think college is for them. We’re teaming up with Shaq to prove them wrong,” said Tade Oyerinde,’s founder and Chancellor. “We’re doing this to show young people that college is within reach, that college can be affordable, and that they don’t have to do this alone.”

Courses will begin in July, and applications are due by June 28. Interested students, parents, and educators are encouraged to visit to apply to the program.

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