C of I Newsletter

2009. 11. 23.

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[Editor's note: This is a special EXTRA edition to highlight a major news item; the next regular newsletter will be published on Dec. 3 as a result of the Thanksgiving holiday.]

JKAF gives The C of I $1 million for scholarships

As a part of its “Go On” campaign, the J.A. and Kathryn Albertson Foundation today announced a gift of $1 million to The College of Idaho to underwrite scholarships for Idaho residents over the next four-to-six years. The series of gifts throughout the state from the Foundation means college students all over Idaho have something extra to be thankful for this week. The C of I is particularly thankful for the J.A. and Kathryn Albertson Foundation: It has given The College more than $73 million over the last decade; The C of I was also known as “Albertson College of Idaho” for nearly 16 years from 1991-2007 in recognition of Joe and Kathryn’s lifelong commitment to giving to the institution. As a private college, The C of I receives no direct state support and instead thrives thanks to the philanthropic efforts of benefactors such as the Albertsons and their heirs.

The College of Idaho President Marvin Henberg said, “We are excited because the five categories of emphasis for the Albertson Foundation fit right in with our priority of extending a quality education to a broad diversity of students. This gift will make a significant impact on the next five years of students.”

The scholarships will make a significant difference in helping to close the gap between the amount of institutional aid The C of I could potentially award versus what it can and does; at present, 98% of students attending The College receive institutional grant/scholarship assistance. The JKAF’s initiative is intended to help support five broad categories of students: (1) First-generation college students; (2) “Completion” students, that is, people who attended college at one point and are returning to complete a degree; (3) Transfer students from two-year colleges; (4) Non-traditional students, that is, students who have never attended college and have been out of high school at least a year; and (5) Students of high academic merit/achievement who successfully completed at least four math and four science courses in high school. Students receiving these gifts should bolster The C of I’s already Idaho-leading graduation rate. In addition, the expectation is that the recipients of these awards will broaden the diversity of The College’s student body — in the wake of the JKAF’s record-breaking gift to The C of I two years ago, enrollment is up nearly 22%.

“Scholarships are the key to the success of first-generation college students,” said Juanitta Pearson, The C of I Director of Financial Aid. “Without scholarships, they’re working one, two, or more jobs. Assistance eases the burden so they can focus on their studies.”

In addition, the “completion” and non-traditional students brought into The College community will introduce a new mature dimension to an otherwise very youthful student body. While The C of I has always had great success attracting transfer students, consecutive record-breaking years of traditional freshman classes have otherwise skewed the population ever-younger. This gift presents a high-impact opportunity for older adults to return to The C of I to complete degrees in the current economic climate. Increasing the percentage of college-educated Idahoans is seen as critical to the future of the state’s economy.

“We need to do more to engage all Idahoans to support students in completing their education and reaching their full potential,” said Governor Butch Otter (’67). “We all must work together for Idaho to remain competitive in the ever-changing global economy.”

Further announcements about the specific details of the composition of the scholarships and how they will be awarded will be forthcoming in the ensuing weeks.