JACKSON, Miss. — A foundation is offering $500 apiece to Mississippians to help finish college degrees.

Higher Education Commissioner Glenn Boyce on Thursday announced the $3.5 million, two-year grant from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation.

The money would be paid directly to a college or university to cover old debts, tuition for new classes or textbook costs, clearing barriers to an associate or bachelor’s degree.

Up to 7,000 grants will be awarded, first-come-first-served, to adults 21 or older who haven’t attended a college within two years.

The Compete 2 Complete website lets people check how close they are to a degree and what college offers needed classes. Officials say more than 30,000 former students have enough credits for a bachelor’s or associate degree without additional courses.

For more information, call 601-432-6051 or email sbullock@mississippi.edu.