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Expanded Bethel grant seeks to draw more diverse student population

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NORTH NEWTON, KAN. – As Bethel College continues to look for ways to make higher education opportunities more accessible to racial/ethnic students from the Mennonite Church USA congregations, it is expanding one of its specifically targeted grant programs.

“Bethel College offers racial/ethnic grants and scholarships, and we have some applicants for these,” says Dale Schrag, director of Church Relations, “but these resources are being under-used this year compared to past years. We wonder if the instability of the national economy is discouraging potential students from applying to college or moving some distance from home to attend college.”

To help answer these possibilities, Bethel is offering full-tuition scholarships to up to 10 students from MC USA churches, who meet admission standards in terms of high school grade point average and college entrance exam scores, for one academic year of study.

Bethel will provide full tuition (less federal and state grants). The only cost to the student will be room and board – in case of documented need, Bethel can help with those costs as well. Total for the year will be $3,150-$6,350, depending on need.

“While we cannot promise this for four years,” says Lori Livengood, vice president for admissions, “we will make every effort to meet students’ financial needs if they are making satisfactory progress toward graduation.”

Schrag has asked for the help of pastors and others in racial/ethnic Mennonite congregations to identify prospective students who fit the grant criteria. There have been several inquiries already.

Prospective students or parents or anyone interested in learning more about the grant should go to www.bethelks.edu/future_students/financial_aid/ and click on either “First-Time Freshman” or “Transfer Students,” as appropriate. Or call the Bethel College Office of Admissions at 316-284-5230.

Bethel College is a four-year liberal arts college affiliated with Mennonite Church USA. Founded in 1887, it is the oldest Mennonite college in North America. Bethel is known for its academic excellence and was the only Kansas private college to be ranked in Forbes.com’s listing of “America’s Best Colleges” for 2008 and one of only two Kansas colleges listed in Colleges of Distinction 2008-09. For more information, see the Bethel Web site at www.bethelks.edu.

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