The next generation of financial professionals (AP Images)

Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Company (MassMutual), Springfield, Mass., has awarded $150,000 in college scholarships this year.

The scholarships were awarded through the MassMutual Scholars program, a national endeavor that seeks to help students of African American, Asian/Pacific Islander and Hispanic descent, who reside in the U.S. and plan on attending college here, do so.

Applicants for the scholarships are evaluated on their academic performance as well as their dedication to seeking higher education. Students are also asked to write a personal essay where in which they describe their personal situations while conveying their ambition to attain a degree and their need for financial assistance to do so.

MassMutual’s program is unique in that eligible students must be interested in the insurance and financial services industry.

The hope of the Mass Mutual Scholars program is that through higher education and employment within the industry, students will be able to represent within the workforce, the diversity of our nation. The overall goal of the program is to increase the number of minority students completing in college nationally while raising the awareness about careers in financial services while recruiting top talent.

“It is rewarding to know how many students are diligently working towards obtaining a college degree and that the MassMutual Scholarship program is out there,” said Nick Fyntrilakis, vice president of community responsibility porgrams, MassMutual.