UALR Gets $1M Endowment for Non-Traditional Students

The University of Arkansas at Little Rock has received a $1 million endowment to support scholarships for non-traditional college students who want to return to school to finish their college education.

The university on Wednesday announced its selection for the endowment by the Bernard Osher Foundation of San Francisco. UALR is the only institution in Arkansas to offer the Osher Re-Entry Scholars Program.

Before Wednesday's endowment, the Osher Foundation had given UALR $50,000 since 2012.

The first cohort of Osher scholars at UALR are set to graduate this month. The endowment ensures funding for non-traditional students "will continue into perpetuity and help bridge the gap in the cost of education for even more UALR students," according to a university press release.

"This endowment could be a game-changer for higher education in Arkansas," said Laurie Ann Ross, Director of Development and External Affairs at UALR. "It represents two years worth of reports that show how we are reaching a segment of students who benefit most from the extra financial support this funding provides. Osher Scholars are returning to school, staying in school, and finishing their degrees." 

Ross said the scholarship is for working adults between 25 and 50 years of age with a cumulative gap in their education of five years or more who are pursuing their first baccalaureate degree.