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New Ridgewater fund assists low-income students

WILLMAR -- Ridgewater College of Willmar and Hutchinson has announced the creation of a new scholarship fund for low-income students.

The Presidential Incentive Scholarship will be funded by federal economic stimulus dollars. These funds were provided by the federal to help offset the negative effects of the recent economic recession.

The 80 students who will receive the scholarships will be chosen at random from among the students judged to be most needy according to the federal government's criteria.

To be eligible to be chosen for the Presidential Incentive Scholarship, a student must be low-income as determined by eligibility for the federal Pell Grant at the beginning of fall semester 2009.

The original 80 students who have met the criteria will each receive a $1,500 scholarship. Those who continue to meet requirements may receive a $1,500 scholarship for three consecutive semesters.

In addition to the low-income requirement, students must have been enrolled in at least 12 credits at Ridgewater for fall semester 2009 and have completed all their course work with a minimum grade point average of 2.5.

Eligible students will receive the first $1,500 award for spring semester 2010 if they have enrolled for at least 12 credits.

They must re-enroll for 12 credits and complete the credits with a GPA of 2.5 or higher each semester to continue receiving the $1,500 per semester.

"This incentive program is targeted specifically at the financially neediest college students," said Dr. Douglas Allen, president of Ridgewater College. "We are hopeful that the program will be significant in helping students pay for college, and thus it will motivate them to be successful by reducing or even eliminating the need for these students to take out loans."

Linda Vanderwerf

I cover education issues for the West Central Tribune and have worked for the paper since 1995. I have worked in journalism since 1981.

Follow me on Twitter: @lindavanderwerf

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