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The Honolulu Advertiser

Updated at 10:25 a.m., Friday, January 26, 2007

Two UH sites awarded grants for re-entry scholarships

Advertiser Staff

The Bernard Osher Foundation has awarded the University of Hawai'i at Manoa and West O'ahu campuses $50,000 each in grants as part of a national program for students returning to complete a university degree after an absence of at least five years.

For UH Manoa, the Osher Re-entry Scholarship Program will be administered by the Bridge to Hope Program, a unit within Student Affairs.

The Bridge to Hope Program specifically addresses the needs of low-income re-entry students and has grown from a pilot project into a nationally recognized program that provides access to college for single parents.

While the program continues to target low-income adults, it also offers support services for all re-entry students at the UH Manoa campus.

At the UH West O'ahu campus, where the average age of its students is 33 years old, the need for financial assistance for returning students may be even greater.

"This grant from the Osher Foundation is of tremendous value in helping to better accommodate the special needs of our mostly non-traditional student population," said Gene Awakuni, chancellor of UH West O'ahu.

"A survey of UH West O'ahu shows that more than 70 percent of our students report having to provide care for dependents living with them. About 80 percent work while attending classes, with 51 percent working 36 hours or more a week."

The Bernard Osher Foundation provides scholarship support to colleges and universities across the nation and funds selected integrative medicine centers on campuses in the U.S. and in Sweden.

The foundation also supports more than 100 lifelong learning institutes at American institutions of higher education and makes arts and humanities grants to non-profit organizations principally in the Greater Bay Area and the State of Maine.