Emphasis has also been placed on scholarships which pay for childcare at the Bright Beginning Learning Center located on campus. Students know their children are in a healthy environment while they themselves are in classes or studying. Of the 47 college students who utilized the daycare center this last year, five received scholarships for daycare. Additional scholarships are needed.

Establishing a Scholarship Provides a Student with a New Beginning

“Earning a college degree or certificate develops the individual,” said Tom Hanks, the actor, in a May 2015 issue of Reader’s Digest. “I drove past [California’s Hayward Community College] campus a few years ago with one of my kids and summed up my two

serious students who struggle to attend college.

Development Board Seeks

Scholarships The college looks to its Great Falls College MSU Development Board to share the need for scholarships with the community.

Since 2010, the Great Falls College MSU Development Board has been visible in the community. Development Board members actively provide information for those interested in creating endowed scholarships or those who want to add funding to scholarships that are already in place so that additional students can benefit. No amount is too small. Donor gifts of all sizes are leveraged against other gifts to make an impact on students.

Seventy percent of GFC MSU students who are presently pushing to earn a degree or certificate qualify for some sort of financial aid. That indicates that they come from families in the 40 percent or lower income brackets. Over the years that percentage has remained consistent, and likely it will remain true in the ensuing years.

Governmental financial aid is awarded to college students on a sliding scale and ranged in 2014-2015 from $450 to $5730. The total for books, tuition and fees averages around $4500. Most often there is a negative disparity between financial aid and the cost of college.

Another group of students — both present and potential — are those who do not qualify for financial aid but still do not have the extra income for a college education. Daycare and living expense eat up their take-home pay.

Last year 36 percent of students had children who depended on their care, 15 percent were single mothers, and 65 percent worked part time while 20 percent worked 30 or more hours a week while attending college. When students — both with and without financial aid — continue to work, it creates an additional strain on family life not for just a few days but for as much as two years. There’s no doubt about it, many present Great Falls College MSU students are financially needy and live with time constraints, and so are those who have the potential to attend.

Great Falls College MSU Strives to Drive Down Financial Barriers for Students

Great Falls College MSU wants to assist students who are excited about continuing their education. The goal is to drive down the financial barriers. A step in helping with students’ expenses is collaboration with businesses, individuals, and university partners, such as the Great Falls Public Schools and the units of the University System

President Obama recently proclaimed that community college enrollment should be free to students, but that conversation among legislators will continue for a long time. Meanwhile good people are slipping through the cracks. Even if the day should arrive that tuition is free, students will have fees, childcare, books, supplies, and transportation expenses that can be costly.

In Cascade County, 26.4 percent of the residents age 25 and older have a high school diploma but no college education.* The statistics are no different in surrounding counties, and, in most cases, there’s a larger number of individuals without a post-secondary education. Of Cascade County residents who are age 25 and older, an additional 29 percent have some college but no degree.

A May 2015 Atlantic Monthly article points out that the principal reason for the widening gap in income inequality throughout the country is the unequal distribution of college degrees and certificates. Anthony P. Carnevale, the director of the Georgetown University Center on Education said, ”70 percent of that inequality is derived from differences in access to higher education. The problem [started in 1983 and] has gotten worse and worse, and worse.” Let’s bring circumstances home to the individual in North Central Montana.

In reality most adults who have a driving desire to get a college degree leading to a career with more pay, have a low-paying job and children who are supported by that job. With that responsibility, the college dream is often put aside.

*Statistics from Montana Department of Labor and Industry.

Potential Students Often Find College Enrollment Beyond Their

Financial Reach

Driving Down the Cost of an Education With Scholarships and Partnerships

with ways to offer courses that ease the financial burden of college.

The Great Falls Public Schools and the Great Falls Public Schools Foundation have become active in assisting Great Falls high school students who want to enroll in college courses at GFC MSU.

Last year $13,235 helped 11 high school students take individual college courses.

Additionally, fourteen students received $500 each toward their tuition to enter the welding and carpentry programs.

The emphasis has been to increase access by offering a 1+3 engineering program giving area students the opportunity to enroll at the college for the first 32 credits of engineering study.

The College of Engineering at Montana State University Bozeman accepts those credits, and students go on to complete a bachelor’s degree on the Bozeman campus. The opportunity to remain in Great Falls one of the four years is a reduction of $3600 in tuition costs plus a savings in living expenses.

Four individuals, studying to become engineers, will receive scholarships given by community businesses and foundations to help with their college expenses at GFC MSU this next year.

The engineering firms that provide these scholarships are optimistic that these individuals will return to Great Falls to raise their families and to work in their firms.

For the 2014-2015 academic year, 26 scholarships were given to GFC MSU students. The average age of a scholarship recipient was 29. The oldest was 62, and the youngest, 18. The total amount was $93,000.

These scholarships have been given by single donors, families, businesses, and non-profits. Over the course of this last year, Great Falls College MSU has grown its endowed funds by an additional $750,000. The Cameron endowments brought 18 new scholarships alone. These scholarships will continue to provide for students in perpetuity. This is a start, but it isn’t nearly enough to award to energetic, years there this way, ‘That place made me what I am today’.” Through scholarships, Great Falls College MSU can give more students a shot at a life-changing experience that attaining a degree or certificate at a two-year college can provide.

If you have ever dreamed of a college education, don’t hesitate. Walk through the big front doors of Great Falls College MSU and enter Student Central. Find out if financial assistance might be available to you.

Because you realize the financial struggle of completing a college degree, commit a selfless act by providing financial assistance for someone in your community whom you may not know, but who wants to seek new horizons, to learn, and to begin a new career.

a Certified Nurse Attendant (CNA), and she loved being with patients.

It was then she decided to take the next step in her education by enrolling in the LPN program.

“When I started back to college, I told myself that I was a mother to my three children first. I want those who are thinking about going to college to know that I didn’t miss attending my children’s activities. I was satisfied with being an A and B student.” The family pulled together while Tahran was taking classes. Although she felt that she should have been working, her husband told her that he would take care of the finances and she should study. He took a better paying job, but it was as an over-the-road trucker. He was gone a majority of the time. No one enjoyed that, but it was necessary. Her mother and grandmother also stepped

For the last three years, the ISSKSINIIP Project , which pays tuition, books and supplies, and other select expenses, has given a number students studying in healthcare programs at six Montana colleges the ability to continue their education.

For Tahran Elder, who studied to be a licensed practical nurse (LPN) at GFC MSU, the scholarship lightened a heavy financial burden from her husband’s shoulders the last semester she was in college. After graduating in May 2014, she went to work at the Grandview Rehabilitation Center for a year, but she knew she was just getting started in attaining her educational goals. She is currently enrolled in the LPN to RN (Registered Nurse) Transition course at GFC MSU.

Growing up, Tahran had wanted to be a teacher. Then she took the training to become in to help. “I had a fantastic support team,” Tahran said.

In the evenings she and the children studied for school together. “I wanted to show my children that having a good education was worth the effort that it took. We made study time comfortable and fun.” Tahran’s family knows about and supports her in continuing her education. She plans to attain a bachelor’s degree in nursing after she becomes a registered nurse. “Then I’m going for my master’s degree in nursing.

I found that I have thoroughly enjoyed opportunities to mentor some of the staff at Grandview. I want to put my two loves together by teaching nursing. I will get there in time.” Good Luck Tahran!

ISSKSINIIP Scholarship Moves Recipient Toward Her Goals