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Returning students awarded scholarships

Jasmine Cannon

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The College of Continuing Studies awarded $50,000 to cover the cost of tuition for 20 students who have had a gap in the pursuit of receiving their college degrees.

Each student received $2,500, provided by the Osher Reentry Scholarship, according to a UA news release.

“Adult students face many challenges as they return to college: juggling full time jobs, family responsibilities and multiple demands on time and money,” said Carolyn Dahl, dean of the College of Continuing Studies. “The Osher Reentry Scholarship makes it possible for adult students to finance college, earn their degrees, and move forward in their careers.”

The guidelines for receiving the scholarship include having a cumulative gap in education of five or more years, pursuing first baccalaureate degree at the undergraduate level and showing academic promise and commitment to obtaining a degree, the website states. Anticipation of participating in the work force for an extended length of time and demonstrating financial need are also factors when choosing recipients.

“The Osher Reentry Scholarship assists us in the College of Continuing Studies to do our job and fulfill our purpose, which is to assist adult students in completing higher education goals,” said Nina Smith, program manager in the College of Continuing Studies. “It’s a great benefit to provide financial support for the students.”

Elizabeth Freeman, a sophomore majoring in elementary education, a wife and mother of two children, was one of the Osher Reentry Scholarship recipients.

“[Going back to school] was a huge leap of faith,” Freeman said. “Receiving this scholarship was like a pat on the back from God, reminding me that He will take care of us. This scholarship has helped my dreams of returning to school (as a mother and wife) become true.”

Reata Strickland, a junior majoring in interdisciplinary studies, and Marianne McCray, a junior majoring in biology, also received the scholarship.

“Opportunities in the work forced opened up to me before I completed my degree,” Strickland said. “Now opportunities in education have opened up, along with financial assistance, and I’m lucky enough to be able to take advantage of this great opportunity.”

McCray said the scholarship administrators helped encourage her.

“Making the decision to return after many years of being out of school is a huge decision, and this scholarship has lightened that load,” she said. “It is a priceless opportunity for which I will always be grateful.”

A recent news release noted that the College of Continuing Studies was awarded $1 million from the Bernard Osher Foundation, which will allow the college to aid students for years to come.

“The students express so much gratitude upon receiving the Osher scholarship,” Smith said. “Receiving the grant means so much.”

For more information about the Bernard Osher Foundation or the Osher Reentry Scholarship visit the official website,

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Returning students awarded scholarships