Cape West Rotary Club Establishes First Bridge to Success Endowed Scholarship

CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo.,

Aug. 21, 2003 – The Cape West Rotary Club has established the first Bridge to Success Endowed Scholarship through the Southeast Missouri University Foundation.

Representatives of the club today presented Kenneth W. Dobbins, president of Southeast Missouri State University, with the funds necessary to endow the scholarship at the $10,000 endowment level.

The Cape West Rotary Club made the contribution as a result of funds raised through its Cape West Rotary Club/Southeast Missouri State University Scholarship Golf Tournament held in June at Dalhousie Golf Club.

“The University is grateful to the Cape West Rotary Club for helping us fund this very important program for needy students,” Dobbins said in accepting the club’s contribution. “As state appropriations for the University’s operations have been reduced over the past three fiscal years, it has been necessary to raise incidental fees paid by students. We know this presents a particular hardship on students with large financial need, and the Bridge to Success program is an effort to maintain access to higher education for these students.”

The Bridge to Success Award was established by the University’s Board of Regents last year as a new, need-based grant to help cover unmet costs associated with enrollment at Southeast. The program was initiated after a comprehensive study of student financial aid and scholarships determined that some Missouri residents enrolled at Southeast in Fall 2001 had financial need not met by scholarships, grants, wages, loans or family contributions.

Students receiving Bridge to Success awards are given varying award amounts ranging from $150 to $1,000 a year. The grants require no repayment. Each student’s award is determined by subtracting the Expected Family Contribution calculated on the Free Application for Student Financial Aid (FAFSA) and other financial aid from an average cost of attendance that includes fees, textbook rental and a room and board allowance.

In 2002-03, the first year of the program, Bridge to Success awards were given to 146 such students.

As of August 21, the Foundation had designated 167 students as Bridge recipients for the second year of the program.

The Southeast Missouri University Foundation has established an endowment to finance the award program and to provide the resources to help students bridge the financial gap. Alan Zacharias, vice president for University Advancement and executive director of the Southeast Missouri University Foundation, says the Foundation is committed to building a million-dollar endowment to provide Bridge to Success aid for future students. The University funded the program in its first two years.

Current and incoming undergraduate students admitted by April 1 are automatically considered for this need-based award through the completion of the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). Student Financial Services reviewed the eligibility of each full-time, Missouri resident, with a 2.0 grade point average (if a returning student) to determine those students who have eligibility based on financial need.

Students who received the Bridge to Success Award last year were eligible for the award again this year provided they meet specified academic and financial need requirements.

Those wishing to make a contribution to the Bridge to Success endowment may call the Southeast Missouri University Foundation at (573) 651-2252.