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The Honolulu Advertiser

Posted at 5:10 a.m., Monday, January 29, 2007

Grants target students returning after 5-year layoff

Advertiser Staff

Students at the University of Hawai'i's Manoa and West Campuses who are returning to college to complete a university degree after at least a five-year absence are now eligible for $50,000 in grants.

The grants are from the Bernard Osher Foundation, the University of Hawai'i Foundation said in a news release.

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, the average age of its students is 33 years.

"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."