Northwest College Foundation has been awarded $100,000 from the John P. Ellbogen Foundation to support adult learners at Northwest College through the newly created Ellbogen Opportunity Scholarship. The grant is part of an $800,000 scholarship program distributing funds to all Wyoming community colleges.
The Ellbogen Foundation will pilot this scholarship with financial aid targeted to Wyoming adults ages 24 and older who wish to attend a Wyoming community college and complete a postsecondary credential.
“With this generous gift from the Ellbogen Foundation, we are so excited to be able to provide scholarship opportunities for our adult learner students who might not otherwise see a path for themselves due to their financial limitations,” NWC Interim President Lisa Watson said. “Through this process, we look forward to helping contribute to Wyoming’s goals of enhancing economic and workforce development.”
The full name of the project is the Ellbogen Opportunity Scholarship: All Students Successful, and is intended to help adult learners access the job training and education they need to find a job or advance their careers, and to ensure that Wyoming’s workforce has the skills necessary for its industries.
According to the Ellbogen Foundation Board, “The rationale behind this grant opportunity is that the Foundation Board realizes the tremendous economic and social impacts of a valuable post-secondary credential for individuals’ and families’ lives, the health of our communities and the well-being of the State of Wyoming.”
This aid will fill gaps in funding after other sources of financial aid are used and will allow a student to cover expenses related to the total cost of attendance, which includes tuition and mandatory student fees as well as course fees, transportation, housing, sustenance, books and child care.
This is especially important for adult learners, who frequently have to juggle a return to college with job and family responsibilities.
The Ellbogen Foundation Board also aims to reduce workforce gaps between demand and supply of skilled employees in high priority occupations. Four academic areas at Northwest College have been selected to address area employment needs and where student enrollment may qualify for Ellbogen Opportunity Scholarships. Designated programs include Nursing/Allied Health, Business, Agriculture, and Welding Technology.
To be eligible for consideration, students must be degree- or certificate-seeking in one of the designated programs and enrolled in fall 2021 courses, while not having previously earned a bachelor’s degree, in addition to meeting the following requirements: be a Wyoming resident for at least 3 years; be 24 years or older; and have a completed 2021-22 Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) with valid Expected Family Contribution (EFC) on file with Northwest College; and have an unmet financial need after all other gift aid is accounted for. Preference will also be given to otherwise eligible students who have not previously earned an associate degree or certificate credential.
Awards are prorated according to the student’s enrollment status at the time of scholarship disbursement and will cover the amount of unmet need up to $3,000 per year after all other gift aid is expended. Award recipients must maintain continuous enrollment and meet other satisfactory academic progress requirements for second semester disbursement and second academic year scholarship renewal.
Eligible students at Northwest College will automatically be considered for an Ellbogen Opportunity Scholarship and no separate student application is necessary. Ellobogen scholarships are awarded on a first come, first served basis to qualified students and are prioritized by the student’s earliest fall 2021 course registration date until available funds are exhausted.
For more information, contact the NWC Financial Aid Office at 307-754-6158 or firstname.lastname@example.org.