LOUISVILLE, Ky. (Nov. 8, 2012) — Spalding University is the recipient of three of 99 Scholarships for Disadvantaged Students grants awarded by the Health Resources and Services Administration of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
The grants are specifically designed to assist economically disadvantaged students, thus, reducing the barrier of high tuition costs. Students receive scholarships that cover at least half of the cost of tuition (with a cap of $15,000 per student award per year). The total funding to Spalding will be $5,430,848, disbursed over a four-year period. The first year of funding will be a total of $1,325,909.
“Access to affordable education is key to helping families build strong futures and enriching our community,” said Congressman John Yarmuth, D-Ky. “That is why I am proud to support this federal investment, which will help Spalding students pursuing careers in health care overcome the financial barriers that can stand in the way of success.”
The funding aims to increase diversity in the health professions by providing grants to schools for use in awarding scholarships to financially needy students from disadvantaged backgrounds, both economic and educational. Many of these students are from underrepresented racial and ethnic backgrounds.
“Spalding University has always been a leader in serving populations who might otherwise have gone underserved by higher education – offering formal higher education to women at a time when it was a rarity and later, admitting African American students while many institutions were still segregated,” said Dr. Laura Strickland, chair of the Auerbach School of Occupational Therapy. “Spalding University is committed to serving students whose potential for success and drive to grow through education may be greater than their academic preparation or economic ability. We’ve developed an institutional model that works with each student to build on their capabilities, equipping them to compete professionally and academically.”
The grants will support students in Spalding’s Auerbach School of Occupational Therapy, Master of Science in Occupational Therapy (MSOT) program; the School of Professional Psychology, doctorate in clinical psychology (Psy.D.) program; and School of Social Work, Master of Social Work (MSW) program. Spalding’s MSOT is one of six occupational therapy programs to receive the grant; the Psy.D. program is one of four doctoral programs in clinical psychology; and the MSW program is one of three graduate social work programs.
Changes to this year’s application process required each program to submit a grant application, whereas, in the past, one application could be submitted by the college or university on behalf of all the healthcare programs or degrees it offered. More than 400 programs applied for the grant. This is the fourth year in a row that Spalding has received funding. This year Spalding is one of two grant recipients Kentucky; the other institution is Frontier Nursing University.
“Not only will these grants allow our students to leave school with significantly less debt, but also it will allow them to pursue the kinds of career paths, namely working with underserved populations, that they are both trained and committed to doing,” said Dr. Steve Katsikas, chair of the School of Professional Psychology. “We also expect that the tuition resource will help attract additional high quality applicants from a variety of backgrounds interested in working with underserved clients.
Spalding has received its first-year of funding, which is expected to be disbursed to students in the spring of 2013. Currently, each program is accepting applications from all eligible students. Scholarships will be awarded on a yearly basis.