NEW ORLEANS — First-generation college students from Louisiana will be able to apply for Loyola University scholarships thanks to a $1.26 million grant from the Patrick F. Taylor Foundation.

Seven scholarships worth $15,000 each will be awarded each year for the next 12 years to students who meet certain academic criteria and who are the first in their family to attend college.

“In the face of rising tuition costs nationwide, Loyola has renewed its commitment to increasing need-based scholarships, and private donor support such as this generous gift from the Patrick F. Taylor Foundation enables us to enroll the best students regardless of their economic standing,” said Loyola President Kevin Wildes in a news release.

About 30 percent of Loyola’s student body is comprised of first-generation college students, and about 65 percent of Loyola students receive need-based financial aid.

“These scholarships will significantly benefit Louisiana students who are the very first in their family to have an opportunity to attend a university,” said Phyllis Taylor, president and chairwoman of the Patrick F. Taylor Foundation, in a news release. “It will also assist in helping to provide an educated workforce to face the needs of tomorrow.”