Northwestern University has received a $1 million endowed gift from the Bernard Osher Foundation  to help older students finish getting their college degree.

Timothy Gordon, associate dean for Student and Alumni Services at the university’s School of Continuing Studies, says the grant will enable Northwestern to provide scholarships for nontraditional scholars who work full time and often must juggle multiple priorities such as raising children, caring for an aging parent or ailing spouse, or those dealing with uncertainty in the job market.

Older students are often less likely to receive federal aid, which can lead to longer workdays that impacts their studies, Gordon noted.

Of the nearly 9,500 Northwestern undergraduate students who enrolled last fall, 682 are between the ages of 25 and 49. Northwestern’s School of Continuing Studies (SCS) will award a minimum of 10 scholarships annually, worth up to $5,000 each, through the Osher Reentry Scholars Program.

New and continuing SCS students are eligible for the tuition scholarships. Preferred applicants are between the ages of 25 and 50, seeking their first baccalaureate degree, have a five-year or more gap in their higher education history, and are in financial need.

The Osher Foundation has subsidized Northwestern’s Osher Lifelong Learning Institute (OLLI) since 2005, presenting a $1 million endowment in 2009. Formerly known as the Institute for Learning in Retirement, that program is celebrating its 25th anniversary at Northwestern this year.

Charles Bartling

A resident of Evanston since 1975, Chuck Bartling holds a master’s degree in journalism from Northwestern University and has extensive experience as a reporter and editor for daily newspapers, radio...

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  1. Yes!

    This couldn't come at a more perfect time! I'm a 48 year old student currently attending a 2-year college – due to graduate 2013. I am also a previous Northwestern University Student that couldn't finish school in 1990 with a 3.8 GPA, because I had to raise my sons and now I am caring for my mother who is blind. I am working full-time and going to school full-time. I'd plan to continue my undergrad and receive my first baccalaureate degree – perferably at Northwestern University. THIS IS PERFECT! If anyone has anymore information about this Program, please post-it.

    1. Contact SCS

      Contact the School of Continuing Studies at Northwestern for more information.  I bet they're already taking names.

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