The 136 graduates of PwC's Impact program for academically talented African American and black high school students have been awarded a total of $35 million in scholarships, the firm announced.

This year’s Impact scholars join the 271 students who have completed the college planning and financial aid program since its launch in 2008. Graduates of the 2011 class hail from Atlanta, Boston, Charlotte, N.C., New York, Philadelphia and Washington, D.C.

Participants enter the 15-month program as high school juniors after completing an application process that takes into account academic backgrounds, strong standardized test scores, demonstrated leadership skills, extracurricular activities, essay responses and in-person interviews.

"The PwC Impact program has been a phenomenal opportunity for our student participants,” said Anita Berger, principal of Benjamin Banneker Academic High School in Washington, D.C., which has student graduates of the program, in a statement. “It has augmented our efforts in assuring post secondary acceptance.”

The Impact program includes workshops on the college application process, managing financial commitments, career mentoring and leadership networking.

For more information on the program and application process, visit www.pwc.com/impact.