BUFFALO, NY-- A Bills great is going to send three African-American students in need to college each year for free.

Thurman Thomas announced a new scholarship at Erie Community College Tuesday that will cover tuition, books and other costs for three disadvantaged students each year, beginning in the Winter 2019 semester.

Thurman says he wants to give those students the chance to focus on their studies without worrying how they'll pay for their education.

"If you have a student who is going to school and who is working and trying to find that extra dollar to pay for the things that they're talking about, yeah, their grades are probably gonna suffer because they have all that stress of trying to balance two things. And now they only have to balance one thing," says Thomas.

Eligible students have to be African American graduates from an Erie County school district and have a 2.5 GPA. Qualified students can apply here, https://www.ecc.edu/scholarships/ after December 14.