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The Indiana Daily Student

academics & research

Groups Scholars Program to offer 4-year funding

From IDS Reports

The Groups Scholars program has struggled with four-year graduation rates hovering between 25 and 36 percent in recent years, according to a press release.

Until now, the program, designed to entice and retain first-generation, low-income and underrepresented IU students, has only provided funding for freshman scholars.

Now, Groups Scholars will be funded for four years of undergraduate education.

This change will occur without adding any new funding to the program, the release said.

The program, apart from financial support, provides students with tutoring, mentoring and social support.

Mary Tourner, director of Groups Scholars, said in the release that students currently enrolled in the program will receive funding for the remainder of their undergraduate study.

Sixty-one percent of Groups Scholars are also 21st Cenury Scholars, and many are in the Hudson and Holland Scholars Program.

All of these programs are designed to increase the probabiliy of success in low-income and underrepresented students through funding and special programming.

“I am overjoyed to hear that IU is making this investment in the Groups Scholars Program,” Rep. Cherrish Pryor, D-Indianapolis, said in the release. “As an alumna of Groups, I can honestly say it was a critical component to my success as an IU student in Bloomington.”

Freshman Groups Scholars are required to take part in a six-week college preparation program during the summer.

“We focused our entire summer message on one thing: academics first,” Tourner said in the release.

By providing additional funding, administrators said they expect to see a dramatic rise in retention rates within the program.

“Now these students won’t need to be working two or three jobs,” Wimbush said. “By providing four years of funding, we’ll significantly increase the retention rate.”

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