January 13, 2010
Dear Friend of Idaho State University,
Especially in tough economic times, it can be difficult for even the most talented students to find ways to fund their college education.
Along with the incredible generosity of our donor alumni and friends who support our programs and scholarships financially, our faculty and staff at Idaho State University work diligently to make a high-quality education more attainable for our students.
The ISU chemistry department recently received a National Science Foundation grant totaling more than $560,000 to fund scholarships that will help talented students stay in school and achieve their goals.
The Scholarships in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) Grant will be awarded over the next five years, and will fund the equivalent of 20 four-year scholarships for both new and continuing students. Financially disadvantaged students and students from underrepresented groups, along with Idaho residents, will be given priority for the scholarships.
In the College of Education, ISU has taken advantage of the federal TEACH grant program. So far this academic year, we have awarded nearly $350,000 to undergraduate students and $60,000 to graduate students who will teach in a high-need field in a school serving low-income students. The program is an excellent way for students to receive a quality education and give back to the community when they graduate.
In addition, Idaho State University disburses about $10 million in University scholarships each year. ISU is the only four-year institution in the state to match the Robert R. Lee Promise Category B Scholarship, a state-sponsored scholarship program designed to encourage Idaho students to do well in school and continue their education at an Idaho university or college.
Idaho State University was also recently the recipient of $1 million in scholarship funds as part of the J.A. and Kathryn Albertson Foundation "Go On" program. The Go On program encourages first-generation college students, students who excelled in high school and took four years of math and science, non-traditional students who graduated high school at least one year ago and have never attended college, transfer students going on to additional college after completing their core requirements and students who want to return to school to complete degrees.
More students are also getting a jump-start on their higher education by enrolling in ISU classes while still in high school. Through the Early College program, high school students can enroll in classes that offer credit for both high school and college. ISU offers Early College participants a partial fee waiver so they can begin their studies and overcome financial obstacles that might otherwise hinder their journey to higher education.
For the first time this semester, ISU is offering health education classes online to high school students through the new University Health High School website. Students can take courses such as “Medical Terminology” and “Introduction to Dental Hygiene” online for the same class fee as the Early College program. The social networking aspect of the website allows high school students interested in the medical professions to interact with faculty in health care-related fields, along with current university students and fellow high school students across the state.
With the rising cost of higher education, it's important for us to continue to offer options that aid promising students attending ISU. Of course, our students also often rely on the community for help as well. We can all help by encouraging high school students to take part in the Early College Program, talking to college students about scholarship opportunities, or even considering a gift to the ISU Foundation. When our students succeed, we all succeed.
Arthur C. Vailas, Ph.D.
President, Idaho State University