Jan 04 2011


Students who have interrupted their education and now want to earn an undergraduate degree at The University of Montana have a chance to receive a $2,500 scholarship. The UM Foundation received a $50,000 grant from The Bernard Osher Foundation to establish the Osher Reentry Scholarship Fund at UM. UM will award 20 scholarships worth $2,500 for the 2011-12 academic year. The priority deadline for applications is Feb. 1.

"One of our top priorities is providing more people with the opportunity to attend UM, and this grant allows us to do just that," said UM President Royce Engstrom. "The challenging economy has forced many Montanans to look for new careers. The Osher Reentry Scholarships will help people gain the education they need to succeed in the work force of the future."

Reentry students are those who had an interruption in their education of five or more years and now want to resume their studies and earn an undergraduate degree. In addition to administering the scholarships, UM will provide resources such as orientation, academic advising and mentoring services to help each Osher Reentry Scholar succeed.

"Nontraditional students have special needs and concerns that differ from those of 19-year-olds," said Sharon O'Hare, executive director of the Office of Student Success. "They worry about their rusty math skills and using technology that didn't even exist when they were in high school."

Qualified students will include part- and full-time students pursuing their first undergraduate degree. They must demonstrate financial need, academic promise and a commitment to completing their degree. They ideally are between 25 and 50 years old and anticipate rejoining the work force for a significant period of time. Osher Reentry Scholarship information and applications are available at the UM Financial Aid Office or online at

The Bernard Osher Foundation was founded in 1977 by Bernard Osher, a San Francisco businessman and community leader. The foundation seeks to improve the quality of life through support for higher education and the arts. The Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at UM (MOLLI) was funded by The Bernard Osher Foundation beginning in 2006. MOLLI offers programs that promote lifelong learning and personal growth for individuals age 50 and older through a diverse collection of noncredit short courses.