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Boise State Receives $1 Million Endowment Gift for Re-Entry Scholarships

By: Sherry Squires   Published 1:18 pm / April 9, 2013

Bernard OsherBoise State University recently was awarded a $1 million endowment from the Bernard Osher Foundation to provide about 25 scholarships annually for students who are re-entering college.

Previously, the Osher Foundation has provided annual funding for the scholarships through a $50,000 grant, with all of the funding being distributed as scholarships each year. With this gift, the Boise State University Foundation will invest the money though its endowment and provide scholarships with the annual interest earnings, preserving the gift as principal in perpetuity.

“These scholarships are a wonderful development for adult learners who are returning to the classroom after time away,” said Mark Wheeler, Boise State’s dean of Extended Studies. “This particular group often has a high need for scholarship assistance but a difficult time finding scholarships for which they qualify. This program will provide re-entry students with scholarships for generations.”

The gift is the most recent recognition of Boise State’s partnership with the Osher Foundation, which previously provided a $1 million endowment for the operation of the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at Boise State, the only Osher Institute in Idaho. The recent gift also addresses a key strategic focus for Boise State – support for scholarships.

“Support for scholarships is Boise State’s greatest need and top funding priority,” said Laura C. Simic, vice president for advancement at Boise State. “Scholarships are the most direct and impactful way donors can transform the lives of students. Through this gift, the Osher Institute helps our students pursue their college degree unhindered by financial uncertainty.”

Student applications already are being accepting for the next academic year at

Osher re-entry scholarship recipients must:

  • Be admitted as a degree-seeking undergraduate student at Boise State University in pursuit of a first baccalaureate degree
  • Be a re-entry student, typically age 25 to 50, whose college studies were interrupted for at least five years (does not have to be five consecutive years)
  • Enroll in primarily face-to-face courses
  • Have a 3.0 cumulative college GPA
  • Demonstrate financial need by completing the online Free Application for Federal Student Aid by June 1
  • Complete the online application for the Boise State Osher Re-entry Scholarship at by June 1
  • Plan to participate in the workforce for a significant period of time subsequent to graduation

Through the program, Boise State will award about 25 scholarships, ranging up to $1,250 for part-time students and $2,500 for full-time students. Final selection of scholarship recipients will be competitive. The scholarship is not renewable; however, those chosen for the scholarship may re-apply at the end of the academic year.

“Our sincere thanks goes to the Bernard Osher Foundation for their support of re-entry students at Boise State University,” Wheeler said.