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Office of Vice Provost for Undergraduate Education

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IU Foundation

Last modified: Wednesday, August 22, 2012

IU receives $1 million endowment to fund Osher Reentry Scholarships for adult students

Aug. 22, 2012

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- The Bernard Osher Foundation has awarded Indiana University Bloomington a $1 million endowment and a $50,000 grant to support the Osher Reentry Scholarship program for adult students who are completing baccalaureate degrees. The endowment provides a more permanent funding source for a program that the Osher Foundation has supported with annual grants since 2009.

Recipients of the Osher Reentry Scholarships from

Recipients of the 2010-11 Osher Reentry Scholarships were, front row from left, Laura Ruchti, Lisa Goch, Arlene Flower, Melinda Bristow, Bethany Thurman and Maria Lopes; and back row from left, William Wamathai, Anthony Warner, Chad Stephan, Julia Campbell and Matthew Stonecipher.

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The IU Foundation will manage the endowment and the Office of the Vice Provost for Undergraduate Education will administer the scholarship program.

"Indiana University Bloomington has long been committed to delivering quality educational programming to adult learners. The Osher Reentry Scholarship endowment ensures that future generations of adult students at IU will have the financial support necessary to improve their lives through higher education," said Lauren Robel, provost and executive vice president of Indiana University Bloomington. "The Oshers are deeply committed to helping nontraditional students, and we are honored to benefit from their generosity."

More than 66 students have been awarded Osher scholarships since 2009, when IU received its first Osher Foundation grant under the leadership of former Lifelong Learning Executive Director Ron White. The endowment will fund a minimum of 20 scholarships each year for adults who have experienced an interruption in their formal education of at least five years and intend to be a part of the workforce following degree completion. The Osher program provides $1,500 to $3,000 scholarships to assist students with tuition costs to help offset other financial obligations in their lives.

"This endeavor is particularly vital in Indiana, which has a low percentage of adults who have completed baccalaureate degrees," Vice Provost of Undergraduate Education Sonya Stephens said.

The students who receive funding from the program are often balancing work, family and community service obligations while pursuing their degrees.

"As a single parent, having the opportunity to go to college so late in life has truly been a blessing," said Osher Scholar Lisa Carter, a sociology major. "And it is with much gratitude that I will finally achieve my dream of being a college graduate in May 2013."

The Osher Reentry Scholarship program is granted to institutions that have demonstrated success and offer programs that meet the needs of reentry students. Since 1975, IU Bloomington has offered specialized services and programs for returning adult students. Adult Student Resources, managed by the Office of the Vice Provost for Undergraduate Education, offers scholarships, academic support and social networking activities for nontraditional students completing degrees at IU Bloomington. Approximately 1,000 nontraditional undergraduate students (25 and older) are enrolled at IU Bloomington pursuing a variety of degree programs, including the General Studies program designed for adult students.

"For several years, Indiana University Bloomington has successfully administered the Osher Reentry Scholarship program, which we are now delighted to endow," said Mary Bitterman, president of the Bernard Osher Foundation. "We believe the recipients of the Osher Reentry Scholarships at IU will graduate on a more timely basis, with less debt, and be better prepared to enter the workforce and contribute to the community. We wish all Osher Reentry Scholars success and happiness in the years ahead."

Additional program information is available by visiting the Adult Student Resources office in Maxwell Hall, Room 020, or by calling 812-855-1129.

The Osher Foundation
Founded in 1977, the Bernard Osher Foundation 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 re-entry students.