SUU Opens Doors for Non-Traditional Student Success

Published: June 26, 2007 | Read Time: 2 minutes

Southern Utah University’s Student Support Center recently received a College Opportunity grant from the Daniels Fund to award non-traditional student scholarships. With $32,500 to distribute in scholarships over the next two years, the Student Support Center at SUU will target the nearly 25% of SUU adult learners over the age of 25.

According to Lynne Brown, director of the student support center, students 25 and older who apply to SUU do not have to take the ACT. In addition, many of those students returning to school did not previously attend college because they were not academically prepared to do so. As a result, a large portion of non-traditional students are not qualified for the academic and merit-based scholarships offered at the University. Brown said, “This scholarship will be of enormous assistance to a group of students who are usually overlooked in the general scholarship awarding process as they are unable to compete at the high academic levels required.”

In the past, SUU has awarded single mother scholarships, first generation scholarships, multicultural scholarships and supplemental grant aid for Utah’s educationally disadvantaged students. Although they target very specific groups of students, these scholarships ensure an increasing number of SUU students have the tools they need to succeed in higher education.

This scholarship grant comes on the tail of a separate grant to SUU from the Daniels Fund that has sponsored a college prep program for Native American high school seniors for the past three years. The 2007 Daniels Fund College Prep Program at SUU runs this week, Monday thru Wednesday, and directs students in everything from ACT testing to scholarship application.

Participating students spend two nights and three days on SUU’s campus. The program gives students—many of whom will be first-generation college students--the opportunity to learn about the application and selection process in higher education. It also gives students a glimpse into life as a college student, mixing classes and panel discussions with group recreational activities and entertainment. Students attend real college classes, participate in community service projects, and are guided step-by-step through the application process. According to Brown, the hope, is that once students complete the college prep program, an increased number of students will have the tools they need to make their college dreams a reality.

Both the adult learner scholarship fund and the college prep program are run through SUU’s Student Support Center. Although neither program is currently accepting applications for the upcoming fall semester, interested students should contact the Student Support Center at Southern Utah University for information on applications for next year. Scholarships are awarded annually. Decisions are based on financial need, educational goals, community involvement and character.

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