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Idaho State Awards 86 Road Scholarships to Students from 40 Idaho High Schools


This spring, Idaho State and the College of Arts and Letters awarded Road Scholarships to 86 southeast Idaho students....

Posted by Idaho State University College of Arts and Letters on Friday, July 10, 2020


Idaho State has awarded 86 Road Scholarships to outstanding students attending the university in Fall 2020. The students represent 40 different high schools in southeast Idaho.

The Road Scholarship is a $2,000 award supporting the goals of Idaho graduates who want to attend ISU. The program began in the College of Arts and Letters in 2016 and later expanded into a university-wide initiative, awarding more than half a million dollars to 256 students over four years.

“This is a scholarship that’s looking for students who really, really want to go to school and need this support to make it happen,” said Holly Kartchner, director of outreach and retention at the College of Arts and Letters. “These are great southeast Idaho students who make up the backbone of our communities and high schools, and when they come to ISU, they do the same thing.”

The Road Scholars program aims not only to provide future ISU students with necessary financial support — it also welcomes them into the Bengal community. Traditionally, Arts and Letters Dean Kandi Turley-Ames travels to each recipient’s high school to surprise them with a scholarship. 


“These are kids with hopes and dreams for the future, and they see ISU as their partner.”


This year, with school held online, Turley-Ames, Kartchner, and other Arts and Letters staff met virtually with each Road Scholar. Parents and school counselors worked to arrange the meetings, so the news of the scholarship came as a total surprise to most students.

Road Scholars are nominated by their high schools and asked to write an essay describing their college and career goals. This year’s essay prompt asked “why do you ROAR?”

“These are students who want to be in the ISU family,” Kartchner said. “They see ISU as a co-partner in building a better future for themselves in our area. They see going to ISU as part of a relationship that it will take for them to be successful.”

Many Road Scholars have experienced significant obstacles in their journeys to higher education, from financial barriers to health challenges. Once they receive their award, they also have access to mentorship and resources at the university.

“These are kids with their eyes to the future,” Kartchner said. “These are kids with hopes and dreams for the future, and they see ISU as their partner.”


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