The Bernard Osher Foundation recently awarded a $1 million endowment to UNC Charlotte. The endowment provides a permanent funding source dedicated to help nontraditional students return to complete their degrees.
UNC Charlotte’s Office of Adult Students and Evening Services (OASES) will administer the Osher Reentry Scholarship program. Prospective recipients, ideally between the ages of 25 and 50, must have college credits and at least a five-year gap in enrollment. Also, this must be their first bachelor’s degree, and they must have been in good academic standing with demonstrated financial need and a significant period of future employability.
UNC Charlotte has a history of serving nontraditional students; the institution traces its founding in part as an educational center for veterans returning home after World War II. Through OASES, the University offers programs and services specifically for nontraditional students, including getting started and transition seminars, academic advising, extended hours in the evenings and on weekends, adult mentoring programs and honor societies and individual course assistance.
“UNC Charlotte successfully administered the Reentry program for several years before an endowment was considered,” said Osher Foundation president Mary Bitterman. “That record, along with the abundant services that benefit nontraditional students, including the OASES program, prompted this gift.”
For each of the past four years, the foundation awarded OASES $50,000 grants for scholarships for reentry students. The foundation is providing a $50,000 award for scholarships for this academic year, too, in addition to the $1 million endowment that will fund future scholarships.
The Bernard Osher Foundation was founded in 1977, and it seeks to improve quality of life through support for higher education and the arts. Through post-secondary scholarship funding to colleges and universities across the nation, the foundation focuses special attention on reentry students.
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