Sometimes, unforeseen circumstances interrupt an individual’s college education. Returning to school after several years can be a daunting task, especially financially. Through a $1 million endowment from the Bernard Osher Foundation, UNC Charlotte has a permanent funding source dedicated to help these nontraditional students complete their degrees.
"Adults of all ages continue to discover the benefits of an undergraduate degree in today’s knowledge economy, so the Osher Foundation's endowment is just outstanding news for potential students and their families. It's also important for the communities we serve, because now we will be able to prepare even more graduates to enter the workforce," said Chancellor Philip L. Dubois. "Increasingly, greater private support is needed for prospective students to achieve the dream of a college degree. The Oshers have a long history of staking their claim in support of education, and we are honored to be a beneficiary of their generosity."
– Chancellor Philip L. Dubois
UNC Charlotte’s Office of Adult Students and Evening Services (OASES) will administer the Osher Reentry Scholarship program. Prospective recipients, ideally between the ages of 25 and 50, must have college credits and at least a five-year gap in enrollment. Also, this must be their first bachelor’s degree, and they must have been in good academic standing with demonstrated financial need and a significant period of future employability.
Janet Daniel, director of the Office of Adult Students and Evening Services, expressed her appreciation for the support from the San Francisco-based Osher Foundation. "Obtaining this $1 million endowment is a milestone for OASES and the University. We have a shared commitment to help nontraditional students achieve their academic goals, and this permanent source of scholarship funding will enable untold individuals to acquire new training and knowledge to become more competitive in an ever-changing job market."
UNC Charlotte has a history of serving nontraditional students; the institution traces its founding in part as an educational center for veterans returning home after World War II. Through OASES, the University offers programs and services specifically for nontraditional students, including getting started and transition seminars, academic advising, extended hours in the evenings and on weekends, adult mentoring programs and honor societies and individual course assistance.
"UNC Charlotte successfully administered the Reentry program for several years before an endowment was considered," said Osher Foundation president Mary Bitterman. "That record, along with the abundant services that benefit nontraditional students, including the OASES program, prompted this gift. We congratulate our colleagues at UNC Charlotte for outstanding stewardship and wish the Osher Reentry Scholars every success over the years ahead."