New scholarship recognizes humble beginnings and great potential

Watch this video of three High Promise scholarship recipients talk about the impact this funding had on their lives.


Oregon State’s new High Promise Scholarship awarded 100 scholarships to first-year students most at risk of leaving the university. The scholarships reduce students’ financial stress while providing a confidence boost.

Launched by one generous donor, the High Promise Scholarship is just that–funds for students who show great promise and have high need. The $1,000 awards are having a tremendous impact on first-year students who, due to both financial and academic struggles, might otherwise drop out.

The vision behind the new scholarship is to engage the entire OSU community to help students succeed. This initiative supports one of the university’s key priorities:  to increase freshman-to-sophomore retention.

The College of Science joined other colleges across the university and met the challenge to match the initial donor gift. Nearly one-third of science students are first in their family to go to college.  

Scholarship recipients are chosen by faculty and staff recommendation after assessing financial need. Susie Brubaker-Cole, Vice Provost for Student Affairs, emphasizes the goal of helping all students succeed and looking at student potential, rather than academic performance.

“Many scholarships are merit-based scholarships that award money to students regardless of financial need,” said Brubaker-Cole, acknowledging that none of the students have straight A’s and that’s OK.

A $1,000 scholarship can make all the difference for a student at OSU. Make a gift to support scholarships today.

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