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Bremer Foundation offers scholarship program

The Otto Bremer Foundation announced the creation of the Finish Line Scholarship Program, which will provide up to $4 million over two years to selected two-year colleges within the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities system in or near Bremer Bank communities.

Funds will support the development or expansion of scholarship programs and student services to improve students’ semester-to-semester persistence and on-time completion of certificate and degree programs. The Finish Line Scholarship Program is targeted at students who face financial, academic and other struggles as they try to realize their educational goals.

“The majority of jobs that pay a living wage require post-secondary education or training,” said Daniel Reardon, Otto Bremer Foundation trustee. “MnSCU colleges with strong student supports and an understanding of emerging local business needs can be catalysts in developing a Minnesota workforce that can compete in a global economy and help to grow strong local economies.”

“Research shows that financial assistance coupled with academic and social supports can help students with the greatest need reach the finish line in their programs,” notes Foundation trustee Charlotte Johnson. “That success in turn helps to pave the way to economic stability for the individual and, in time, entire communities.”

The Foundation will distribute scholarships to eligible MnSCU colleges using a Request for Proposal process. Funded proposals will reflect knowledge gained from successful scholarship programs, include plans to measure their success and have the potential to move the institution to the next level. The Foundation will develop an evaluation strategy in conjunction with grant recipients and share what is learned.

“This innovative program will help our students cross the finish line and continue their journey to a better life for themselves, their families and their communities,” said Steven Rosenstone, MnSCU chancellor.

“We are excited about the potential of this program,” said Brian Lipschultz, trustee. “It builds on more than $24 million in Otto Bremer Foundation grants for community and technical colleges and for workforce development in Minnesota over the last 10 years.

“And with its focus on populations that have been traditionally underserved and less successful in completing higher education, the Finish Line Scholarship Program fits the Foundation’s mission to provide opportunities for all to participate fully in community life.”