Here's How A New Initiative To Get Idaho Students To Finish College Is Working

Oct 30, 2018

The Idaho Opportunity Scholarship for Adult Learners started in 2018 and has 28 students so far.
Credit Idaho State Board of Education

Idaho wants to see more students finish college, even if they stopped their studies years ago. To accomplish that goal, the state has set aside money for a scholarship to encourage adults to go back to school.

But according to the Twin Falls Times-News, only 28 people are using the Idaho Opportunity Scholarship for Adult Learners this year. The program started in July, which only gave people a couple weeks to apply before school began.

Debbie Critchfield is the Vice President of the Idaho State Board of Education. Speaking on Idaho Matters in August, Critchfield says the scholarship is supposed to help Idaho get closer to what’s known as the “60 percent goal.” The idea is for 60 percent of the state’s 25-to-34-year-olds to obtain a post-secondary degree or certificate.  

“There’s no way we can get to that goal unless we bring in adults," Critchfield says. "We don’t simply have the people. In order for us to really meet these workforce and labor needs, we absolutely have to motivate and have to encourage adults who are already working.”  

The state believes there are 50,000 Idahoans who have started college but not finished their degree. The scholarship awards $3,500 annually to eligible students. Adults interested in the program need to have 24 credits under their belt with at least a 2.7 grade point average.

Find reporter Frankie Barnhill on Twitter @FABarnhill

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